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NC Budget and Tax Center

Comprehensive tax reform remains vague and “short on details” as the 2013 legislative session is beyond its halfway point. Nevertheless, stand-alone bills continue to make their way through the legislative process that would provide tax cuts to the state’s wealthiest individuals. Policymakers have just voted in the House to eliminate the estate tax and both the Senate leadership and the Governor have stated their commitment to do the same.

Proponents of eliminating the estate tax argue that the tax punishes small businesses and small farms in North Carolina. Evidence shows this claim to be false. The estate tax applies to a small number of taxpayers in North Carolina – less than one percent. For tax year 2011, only 23 North Carolina tax filers were subject to the estate tax, according to the North Carolina Department of Revenue. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of small businesses and small farms will not a pay an estate tax while heirs of the wealthiest estates in the state will. Read More

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Things aren’t looking so great in North Carolina policy and politics these days, but here’s one good thing:

We aren’t Florida or Colorado or Michigan or one of several other states that have regressive tax initiatives on their ballots this fall.

The folks at Citizens for Tax Justice have compiled the list and this post on Think Progress this morning highlights the three worst: Read More

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And speaking of regressive, counter-productive tax policies, check out this new report released this morning, which shows that recent proposals from Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Senate would extend lucrative tax breaks for 140 multi-million-dollar estates in North Carolina while letting tax improvements expire for 522,645 moderate-income North Carolina working families with 1.1 million children.

Sounds like pretty standard right-wing trickledown/flood-up economics.

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At some point, it seems, conservative ideologues and their friends in Congress will simply get down to admitting that what they have in mind for the American tax code is the following simple situation:

The wealthy will simply pay no income taxes, capital gains or estate taxes of any kind.  Meanwhile, average working people will be called upon to bear an ever-greater responsibility for funding essential public services and structures — or, at least, the services and structures that conservatives are willing to allow to continue and/or farm out to corporate interests.    

The latest example of this inevitable trend in motion can be see in this new proposal from U.S. Senate conservatives.

 

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As often happens to committee-agenda items scheduled last, the General Assembly’s Revenue Laws Study Committee ran out of time today before members could consider proposed legislation to repeal North Carolina’s estate tax.

According to the committee’s chair, Senator Rucho, consideration of the legislation, including testimony by the Budget and Tax Center and the NC Center for Nonprofits, will be rescheduled for the committee’s next meeting in March.

Under the proposed legislation, North Carolina would no longer levy an estate tax after 2012 regardless of what happens to the federal estate tax in 2013, when the federal estate tax is, by law, set to return to its pre-Bush-tax-cut parameters. Read More