A budget hasn't yet been passed by the General Assembly, but two leading Senators have already gone into full spin mode to mislead the public on what will be a nearly $1 billion tax increase.
Check out these two quotes. First, by Sen. Dan Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg):
Dan Clodfelter, a Charlotte Democrat. "If we spread the tax rate out,
we can lower it for everybody."
Next, Sen. R.C. Soles (D-Columbus):
tax as I understand it and a few other taxes, and the Senate is doing
its best not to raise taxes," said Soles.
Lower taxes for everyone? Not raise taxes? To quote tennis star John McEnroe "You cannot be serious?"
How in the world a $1 billion tax increase can be spun as either not raising taxes or lowering taxes is beyond me. Even sadder than the legislators even attempting to say this with a straight face is that neither reporter bothered to challenge them on the statement. The press is obviously going to let them frame the story that way.
But we've known all along that this was the Senate's plan, and is the big holdup now on why a budget hasn't been passed. The Senate wants to raise taxes by $1 billion, but lower some rates (like the sales tax rate) so they can go back home next fall and stand before the voters and claim to have cut taxes. The House seems not to care (or is not as politically astute as the Senate) and is willing to pass a straight tax increase without the political cover of reducing some rates.
Either way the truth cannot be hidden, taxes are going up, despite the best spin by some lawmakers.