Editorial: Right-Wing Tax Shift Continues to Hurt Working Families
Gov. McCrory and other GOP leaders are pretending to care about low and middle class families with their new tax scheme. They want to further raise the standard deduction for personal income taxes, saving couples around $100. Not a big help for most families. Budgets are already cut in many needy fields and with this additional loss of revenue, the money will need to be made up somewhere else, probably through expanding the sales tax, which disproportionately impacts working families.
The idea being floated would raise that standard deduction by exempting a couple’s first $17,500 in income from taxes, up from $15,500, and would exempt $8,750 for individuals, up from $7,750. The change would mean 70,000 to 75,000 more taxpayers would not be taxpayers because their incomes fall below that standard deduction.Having cut taxes in ways that benefit the wealthy and big business (and raising other taxes that hit the middle class to make up the losses), lawmakers now want to be able to boast they’ve put money in everybody’s pockets. The change would make little difference to average families while making a big difference in revenue for a state already operating under an austerity budget.What they don’t tout is that the state will lose an undetermined amount of revenue at a time when the GOP has cut budgets to the bone and provided negligible pay hikes for teachers and state employees.The loss of revenue under this latest political gambit is uncertain but is likely to be around $200 million per tax year. Fear not, though. GOP leaders can make up the difference by taxing sales and services as they have before.