Anyone who has gone to the grocery store or the gas station in recent months has likely felt the pain of rising prices. No doubt, those having the most difficulty reaching deeper into their pockets to pay more for these goods are the poor and working families trying to make ends meet.
With this as a backdrop, Garland Pierce (D-Hoke) and Larry Hall (D-Durham) have introduced House Bill 884 Extend Temporary Sales Tax Increase 2 Years. As its name implies, this bill would change the expiration date for the “temporary” 1-cent increase in the statewide sales tax rate scheduled to expire July 1 this year to July 1 2013.
Amidst panic caused by dwindling revenue during the early stages of the recession in 2009, the state approved – among other tax hikes – a two-year increase in the statewide sales tax of one cent. The sales tax increase was estimated to cost taxpayers more than $1 billion this year alone.
Representatives Pierce and Hall apparently think that North Carolinians already struggling to pay their bills and to afford spiking gas and food prices should fork over an additional billion or more each year for the next two years to help them avoid implementing long-overdue and sensible restraints to the growth of the state budget.
Because it raises taxes, and does so at a time when people can least afford it, HB 884 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.