Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Readers fire back on tax reform

Sunday's column about tax reform brought several responses, including one from a Charlotte businessman who moved here years ago because of its attractive tax atmosphere and who's about to move his information technology business elsewhere:

I enjoyed your opinion article in the Observer yesterday as this topic has recently touched me and my family in a very personal way.
Your comment: “Their insistence on defining revenue neutral as the amount of money available prior to the 2009 tax hike would do several things. It would indeed rein in spending and make it easier to cut tax rates. But it also would further starve essential services that already show excessive signs of wear, including public schools that have lost good teachers, community colleges where classrooms are overflowing and university campuses that face a rapidly increasing enrollment at a time when GOP leaders would cut state spending even more”.
Only get’s at part of the problem, in my opinion.
In my case, I’ve been living in NC for 26 years. I started and own a successful business that is located here. Because it is successful, I pay a huge amount of state income taxes. Recently, because of the change in the internet affiliate tax and the new income tax surcharge, I had PWC look our NC tax situation compared to other states.
I was astounded by the report they provided to me. That night I went home and said “honey we’re moving”. Now, five weeks later we are relocating to a new state (bought a house, found a business building, etc) and will be out before the end of this year.
In the process, we will no longer be paying any tax—$0.00—to NC. (Individually, by my calculation we were paying the equivalent of 5000 NC workers, maybe more when you add in fees, assessments, etc).
The tax problem isn’t the cost of state-provided services—it is the fact that NC’s tax structure is so extremely progressive that it is reliant on a relatively few tax payers. So the state needs money, they raise taxes and hit this narrow group. So people in the narrow group—who can leave—like me—leave.
I know many other business owners who are also in the process of relocating to new states because NC’s tax policies are so out of whack compared to other states. NC will never raise enough money if it’s policies force business owners to leave the state.
We like North Carolina, it’s a very nice place with good weather, pretty mountains and nice beaches. But from now on, we’ll enjoy the state as a visitor and let someone else pay for all those vital services (most of which we never used).
I don’t know why a state would incentivize a productive citizen like me to go, but that’s the effect of their policies.

And a reader from Wake Forest didn't care for the revenue shortfall reference. David Bednar wrote:
Jack: You could have stopped writing at the second paragraph when you made the stupid comment” a deep revenue shortfall”. The problem with all government entities is not a revenue shortfall but excessive spending.


Anonymous said...


We are in the same boat.

There was a notion floating about revolving around when "the government runs out of other peoples money"....

Looking at Washington in 2009 has been like looking at a vignette from a movie whose plot surmises a group of crazed kids running amok with mommy and daddies credit cards...as in play now pay later.....

All this money being spent and tossed about and rerouted in the name of liberalism and entitlements
has to be paid back at some point in time....NY, California, North Carolina...why should I be put on the hook anymore than possible for a bunch of nut bags spending my grand kids money, for things and people that have no effect on me and mine what so ever?

Florida, hot nasty Florida....beckons like a ray of common sense not known since Reagan breathed c02 upon a White House microphone.

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