RALEIGH – With all of the conservative constitutional amendment proposals being pushed in the General Assembly right now, it was only a matter of time before the Left started moving to confront and demonize each one. Their play against the Voter ID proposal, despite it having nearly 70 percent approval, is easy – “it’s racist.” On others, though, the approach is more subtle.
How do you attack an amendment that makes sure people protect more of their hard-earned money from free-spending politicians?
Here the Left goes back to the education well. If you vote to cap the percentage of your income the State can take from you, you’re selling out school kids.
State legislators are considering this week putting on the November ballot an amendment to change the state’s constitution to cap the income tax rate at 5.5 percent, which is about the current rate. Supporters say the cap will protect taxpayers, while opponents say it will limit the state’s ability to adequately fund public education and other important public services.
“A typical voter is going to just read it and say, ‘I want my taxes low,’ and not understand the long-term impact of tying the hands of future legislatures,” said Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “It could be devastating. Our schools are underfunded, and this will lock it in permanently by making it part of the state constitution.
“Any future legislature would have to amend the Constitution to make any fundamental change.”
Our income tax rate is already below 5.5 percent, and North Carolina has turned in repeated annual surpluses, overflowing Rainy-Day Funds, nation leading teacher raises, AAA credit ratings, and a recent near billion dollar bump to the state budget.
All this while spending growth aligns with inflation and population growth, for the most part.
Nevertheless, Democrats are going to spin this as an amendment to steal from our kids, but placing limits on how much the State can steal from us.
It’s not likely to work, due to the fact that most people understand that our lawmakers have plenty of our money to work with without us forking over even more to cover their malfeasance.
Actually, the General Assembly MUST have plenty of money to work with being that the last budget had more than $30 million in special earmarks for lawmakers to bring home the bacon.
The cap will be welcomed by conservatives, as evidenced by Americans For Prosperity’s response.
“AFP-NC strongly supports the Income Tax Cap amendment because it empowers voters to protect themselves from future tax hikes,” said Chris McCoy, state director of Americans For Prosperity-North Carolina. “If a 5.5 percent tax rate were bad for education, you would think we’d see some evidence of those ill effects right now, since our tax rate is currently at that level.
“But over the last five years, North Carolina has made consistent investments in education while lowering the economic burden on taxpayers. We support the income tax cap amendment, and we believe voters will too.”
It’s not good look to be fighting for the ability to raise tax burdens on people, but that’s the great thing about the amendment process. Voters have a chance to hear from both sides, and the opposition is forced oppose a specific issue.
The Left will try to deflect from that issue with fear mongering about education budget catastrophes but at the end of the day they’re screaming to take more of your money and grow a bigger government.
Good luck with that.