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As Brenna Burch reported here on The Progressive Pulse the other day, the state Court of Appeals issued a welcome decision this week when a three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the parent company of the grocer Food Lion (the Belgian corporation known as Delhaize) could not escape state taxes through various avoidance techniques.

This morning, the Greensboro News & Record has an on-the-money editorial about the same matter entitled “Bread and taxes.”

This is the excellent conclusion:

“Delhaize and Food Lion expressed disappointment with the decision and said they are reviewing options. Because Tuesday’s ruling was unanimous — Judges Donna Stroud and Doug McCullough joined Thigpen —  the N.C. Supreme Court does not have to hear an appeal.

It’s time to call the issue settled. Food Lion sought a legal means to reduce its state tax bite, as many companies would do. Its plan didn’t work. Now it should focus on continuing its record of good corporate citizenship, which includes paying its fair share of North Carolina taxes.”

You can read the entire editorial by clicking here.

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The idea of cutting costs in the criminal justice system seems like it would be a common sense idea that would appeal to conservatives and progressives alike. In recent years, one of the most effective tools in advancing this objective has been the rise of alternatives to the “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” approach of the “war on drugs” years.

Put simply, some smart people finally figured out that it’s a heckuva lot cheaper and more effective to help drug addicts escape the clutches of their health crises than it is to merely throw them in jail. Hence, the eminently sensible and highly effective concept of “drug courts” that seek to effect just such an outcome.

Yesterday, New Jersey’s conservative Republican governor, Chris Christie, signed a bill that makes his state the first in the nation to mandate drug treatment rather than jail time for drug-abusers convicted of nonviolent crimes. Good for him and good for New Jersey. Let’s hope their program is an off-the-charts success.

Now, if only conservatives running the North Carolina General Assembly could see (or remember) the obvious wisdom in this approach. Read More

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A recent report (subscription required) by officials with KPMG LLP suggests that a subset of corporations and big accounting firms are likely working behind the scenes to encourage North Carolina lawmakers to absolve some multi-state corporations for past tax-shelter abuses.  The result, a new BTC Brief shows, would be to provide a windfall for a few corporations while inflicting major harm on North Carolina’s public investments.

In June, state lawmakers enacted House Bill (HB) 619, placing restrictions on the ability of the NC Secretary of Revenue to shut down abusive corporate tax shelters used by some large corporations to elude paying millions of dollars in taxes owed on profits earned in North Carolina. A recent report by officials with KPMG – a corporate accounting firm with a questionable history on abusive tax shelters – show that advocates of corporate tax dodging may wish to take the bill one step further by extending the new restrictions on tax-shelter abuse to past tax dodges as well.

Amending North Carolina’s new corporate tax rules to apply retroactively to prior tax years could put $400 million in paid and unpaid state corporate tax revenue at risk.

The resulting loss of revenue from such rules would be a job-killer for North Carolina, triggering even more harmful cuts to public schools, community colleges and universities, heath care, and other vital state-funded services that North Carolinians and businesses across the state depend on. Lawmakers must respond accordingly to protect the interests of everyday North Carolinians over big, multi-state corporations. Read More