Raising Taxes Usually Backfires

Published September 15, 2009

The effects of raising $800 million in taxes to fill the budget will echo throughout the state’s economy for years to come (“State sales tax goes up a penny today,” Sept. 1).

Since legislators continue to choose the easy route of raising taxes, North Carolina businesses and residents will struggle to recover from the recession.

The state legislature’s “divide and conquer” strategy, with recent tax hikes on tobacco, alcohol, and the “rich” (a category that apparently now includes people making $60,000 per year), combined with a destructive sales tax increase, is obviously not a blueprint for economic success. Exercising fiscal restraint, instead of relying on unreliable and regressive tax increases, is the more prudent, long-term solution for the state’s budget woes.

If government continues to take more money out of the pockets of an already heavily tax-burdened citizenry, the state’s economy will suffer. Going forward, the legislature needs to focus on comprehensive tax reform and an overhaul of the government work force, and show a real commitment to reducing its expenditures.

John Nothdurft, The Heartland Institute

This letter to the editor was originally published in the Fayetteville Observer.