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NC Budget and Tax Center

Nearly half of likely North Carolina voters familiar with the tax cut package state lawmakers enacted this year oppose it, while only 42 percent support it. Don’t take our word for it. That’s what a poll by a prominent supporter of the package shows.

Of course, the group that commissioned the poll, Americans for Prosperity, chose to highlight other results that were more favorable to its position. But those results came only after the respondents were given one-sided information about the tax package, which slashed income taxes for profitable corporations and the wealthy.

Among those who had heard “a lot” or “some” information about the tax package even before the pollster called, 47% opposed it. Forty-two percent supported it and 11% weren’t sure. Read More

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No, that headline is not a typo.postpic

North Carolina’s Department of Cultural Resources — you know, the folks with the mission to enrich lives and communities and create opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina — has a post on its Facebook page in which it touts the state’s new and regressive tax changes and links to a Forbes.com article on the subject.

I suppose you can chalk it up to loyal administration staffers simply cheerleading for the people that hired them, but the post has ticked off a heck of a lot of Facebook commenters who are used to coming to the page to read about, you know, cultural issues. As of Thursday afternoon, 63 people had commented.

Here are a few of the mostly negative responses to the surprisingly political entry:

“I really enjoy the posts about NC culture and history. This post is neither.”

“I totally thought this was a gag post. Sad to say it was not.”

“What a Crock of Inappropriateness…Shame on you North Carolina Culture.”

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You know North Carolina has jumped off the cliff into the abyss when even two conservative figures with close ties to the John Locke Foundation are deriding the latest budget and tax policy choices made by state leaders.

Here, for instance, is longtime Locke Foundation Board member Assad Meymandi in Saturday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer:

“Some 60 years ago, the founding fathers of the new North Carolina – transforming an agrarian society into an educational, technical and industrial state – folks like the late Bill Friday, Archie Davis, Gov. Luther Hodges and others saw the future salvation of our beloved state by heavily investing in education.

Their efforts have produced, among other things, a very strong UNC system of 16 campuses, parallel with the creation of the incomparable network of community colleges. They also advocated a strong N.C. Symphony, N.C. Museum of Art and other cultural and artistic institutions to attract educated and culturally inclined people to the state. Investing in education has paid off. N.C. economy has thrived because of its excellent public universities. UNC-Chapel Hill alone brings in annually around $900 million in research money and grants. It is truly frightening to see what the legislature is doing to the budgets of UNC system, N.C. community college system and UNC-TV. Read More

NC Budget and Tax Center

During yesterday’s tax reform debate on the House floor, we heard a lot about the need to cut personal income taxes so that small businesses can create jobs and the economy can grow.  This is a growing refrain among advocates for tax cuts for the wealthy, so common in fact, that policymakers made it once before—in 2011, when they passed an exemption of business pass through income, an exemption that they are now repealing (apparently the tax cut didn’t work).

As with many of the claims made during the debate about taxes this session, the idea that personal income tax cuts spur job creation is just not borne out by the facts.

Personal income tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers do not target actual small business job creators. Only 2.7 percent of personal income taxpayers are owners of small businesses that have employees, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Moreover, profits from small businesses with paid employees account for less than 4 percent of the total income earned by households with incomes over $100,000 nationally.  There is no evidence that businesses owned by high income taxpayers have more employees than those owned by lower income taxpayers, and as a result, no reason to provide tax cuts that disproportionately benefit those with the highest incomes.  And for many small business owners of any income level, there is often limited interest in growing the size of their business—consider a family restaurant, for example—so again, cutting these business’s won’t lead to job creation.

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