Late yesterday afternoon, the NC House approved their $784 million tax package. The tax plan will be rolled into the House budget proposal as an amendment. The budget is scheduled to be voted on tonight.
The major taxes include:
- Creating new, higher tax brackets for the highest income earners
- Expanding the sales tax to apply to warranties, repairs, installations, courier services, digital products
- A quarter-cent increase on the sales tax
The tax plan is being cleverly labeled as a "restoration" plan by House leaders – implying that the taxes are needed to "restore" the cuts that the House introduced in the first place. House leaders have played a masterful con game during this process: first claiming they want to draw up a budget without raising taxes, then unvailing a budget plan "cutting" the most publicly sympathetic programs like education/teachers and social services for developmentally disabled children. The proposed "cuts" of course send the powerful teacher lobby and social services providers into a panic; creating a flood of calls and emails to state lawmakers.
And then poof, in to save the day – a tax package!
House leaders who orchestrated this pitiful ploy should be ashamed of themselves. Purposefully manipulating the emotions of thousands of educators and social workers for their political ends is why so many people have such a low opinion of politicians. In committee meetings I attended, I saw hundreds of panic-stricken people in attendance, clinging to every word of debate with nerve-racking fear that their program may be "cut." Folks most likely took off work to attend, and many of them actually brought children to the committee meetings, all as a result of the House leadership's lowly fear tactics.
Well done, House leadership. You got your tax plan included in the budget. I hope you are proud of yourselves.