by J.J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina
The tax reform plan announced by state Sen. Phil Berger is just another charade designed to make citizens think Republicans are actually reducing taxes. Calling it the Tax Fairness Act and claiming it’s the largest tax cut in state history is misleading at best.
In fact, it isn’t fair and it isn’t a tax cut. Senator Berger and the other Republican leaders at their press conference last week probably used the word “fair” hundreds of times.
No tax is fair. Taxes are inherently unfair. Every tax hurts someone. The only difference between taxes proposed by Republicans and Democrats is which special interest group is going to benefit and which is going to pay.
Granted, Senator Berger’s plan moves North Carolina from a system of taxation that taxes production to a taxation system that taxes consumption. This is a step in the right direction, but only a small, miniscule step rather than the major reform that is needed. The individual and corporate income taxes should be repealed immediately. One hundred percent repealed, not simply marginally reduced.
A “revenue neutral” plan that increases the number of things taxed can’t be called a tax cut. Nor can it be called “fair,” because it shifts the tax burden onto the backs of those least able to pay.
The truth is, Republicans and Democrats believe the same thing. They insist that only way to fund what they claim are essential government programs is through taxes. Whether the tax is proposed by a liberal or a conservative, the idea is based on one premise: you don’t own your money or the fruits of your labor because the State has the right to take what it wants.
Only Libertarians believe that you own the fruits of your labor and enterprise, and that government does not have the right to take it from you. We believe taxation is by its very nature destructive to the economy, especially job creation.
We propose to reduce the need for increased taxes by reducing the size of state government in every way possible. We would use the John Locke Foundation’s “Budget for Growth” as a starting point. Ending corporate welfare and state aid to special interests would save over $100,000,000 annually with no cuts to other programs.
Libertarians agree with Senator Berger on one point. We can’t fix the broken state tax code by nibbling at the edges. Yet his tax plan does just that. The senator proposes minimal change. Libertarians propose radical change.
North Carolina’s tax code is obsolete and oppressive to the working class. Libertarians are working to change that.
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I have contacted ALL 170 NC Legislators and have only gotten a response from Jeff Jackson, who has been superb. But he is only one voice.
The county I live in falls under NC Session Law 2013-362, which is a state law enacted to ensure correct property values for tax purposes. As a result of highly criticized 2011 revaluations, I am now subject to losing my home for a $43,400 value increase – more than 60% (they claim it is just an adjustment to the incorrect 2011 valuation) that leaves me owing thousands of dollars to the county, plus retroactive interest, which if not paid, will result in forfeiture of my home. I have a disabled son who depends on me to keep him in a safe environment. If we lose our home, we have no place to go. He will have no choice but an institution. This is happening to us right how, and because it is state law, can happen to residents in all 100 counties of North Carolina.
Staring in 2016, if you are homeless, you don’t get to vote due to having no verifiable permanent address which makes it nearly impossible to get an ID. So, this is not only a ridiculous tax scheme, it can result in voter suppression as well.
Any assistance you can give in the form of pressure on the legislature, publicity, or just a kind email saying “wow, that truly sucks” would be appreciated.
I have created a change.org petition, which so far has only 184 signatures.
Here is a link to the law that is about to make me and my family homeless. http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/HTML/S159v4.html
Thank you for your time,
Lisa Heenan, future homeless person thanks to NC Legislature