Let’s have more “tax breaks”—if all taxpayers get them.
An Associated Press story printed in the Wilmington StarNews (June 4, 2012), titled “Tax break for businesses costs $336 M in N.C.,” tells that 460,000 business owners “save about $3500 on their state taxes.” Good news; that’s $336 million state government doesn’t take out of the economy for unproductive, often wasteful, purposes.
However, this begs the question: If these breaks “stimulate the economy” and create “jobs,” as a UNC Chapel Hill study predicts, why not reduce taxes for everyone to further stimulate the economy and create even more jobs?
Problem is that government officials have a nasty habit of selectively legislating who benefits and who doesn’t. In fairness, taxes should be reduced for all taxpayers, not just those our political class decides deserve the break more than others. For example, if tax reductions for some businesses help the economy, why not reduce or eliminate the corporate tax for all of them? Based on the same reasoning, why not reduce or eliminate the state income tax?
Lower taxes across-the-board would provide a powerful incentive for people to live and do business in North Carolina. It’s a no-brainer. Incidentally, it would preclude the use of special tax breaks (“incentives”) offered only to select groups, such as the film industry, that politicians and press editors tell us are needed to be “competitive” with other states.
Statists will argue that tax breaks “costs” government. However, conservative people know that programs and bureaucracies can do with less and still carry out necessary public services (some are unnecessary).
John Locke Foundation policy analyst Joseph Coletti has some thoughtful and worthwhile recommendations that, if implemented, would give us all a break from the high state tax burden now imposed, while helping to make this state more government-friendly and productive. (link)
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