Local Politics

Sales Tax Increase Eyed for Medicaid Relief

Posted July 3, 2007

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— As they haggle over a final state budget, lawmakers are looking at a statewide or local-option sales tax to help counties experiencing their own budget difficulties.

Counties rely on property taxes to run their governments, but leaders complain that school, road, water and sewer needs far outpace what home and business owners pay. Some rural counties spend as much as 30 percent of their budgets on Medicaid, for example.

State lawmakers appear determined to pull those health care costs off the backs of local governments.

"We need to get this one behind us so that we give some of these counties a chance to succeed. Now, we're denying them that chance, and that's not right," Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand said.

The latest Medicaid relief plans would utilize sales taxes. Gov. Mike Easley and many House and local leaders also want a land-transfer tax rolled into the mix.

"It's targeted at those growth areas," said Rebecca Troutman, director of research for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. "I'm afraid what we're going to be seeing is annual property tax increases over and over and over again."

Two-thirds of homeowners statewide will pay higher property taxes this year, officials said.

The owner of a $200,000 home will pay $88 more in taxes in Wake County, an extra $94 a year in Orange County and $50 more in Durham County.

Instead of the original plan for a 1 percent tax on land, home and business sales, lawmakers are considering a compromise 0.4 percent transfer tax.

Real estate agents have waged a media campaign to fight off even the smaller transfer tax plan.

"It's still a tax on sellers. It's still an unfair tax. There's no reason folks selling their property should pay more than people not selling their property," said Rick Zechini, director of regulatory affairs for the North Carolina Association of Realtors.

Rand, D-Cumberland, said he's confident a Medicaid relief plan will get worked out this session. But there's still plenty of disagreement between the House and the Senate on the proposed land-transfer tax.

121 Comments

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  • elcid89 Jul 5, 2007

    Well, you know, it does help a posting to add context in the form of what one is referring / responding to. Cut and paste is a good thing. You should try it some time (along with proper punctuation and paragraph structure.) It would make your stream of consciousness writing easier to read.

    "Most of your answers are about as vacuous as you are, which seems to excite you"

    Taught you that word at A&T, did they? I'm impressed. It's a shame they couldn't teach you grammar as well.

    "You seem to me to be a nay sayer of anything relating to our country. Does your opinions for this country's government and it's people make you feel you may do something to harm America. Should our government be checking you out?"

    Absolutely not. Strange as it may seem, the most harmful thing over the last 6 years anyone could do to America was voting for Bush. I didn't. Did you?

    And it's "do your" and "its," not "it's." Maybe you should explore getting some of your tuition money refunded.

  • ladyblue Jul 4, 2007

    Elcid- I am so glad you have accomplished how to paste and post everyone who says anything on here. You stepped over the line when you insulted my deceased father. That man was considered so well rounded in knowledge that plenty people came to him for numerous reasons in our back country town.. He was honored by Mount Olice Pickle Company for inventing the electric pickle grading machines instead of having to manually do it back in the 50's. Most of your answers are about as vacuous as you are, which seems to excite you. If we are such country bumpkins why don't you move on outta here or is this web site the only way you can communicate to anyone. I guess you want me to believe your dribble on a subject in this story that's in my working forte. You seem to me to be a nay sayer of anything relating to our country. Does your opinions for this country's government and it's people make you feel you may do something to harm America. Should our government be checking you out?

  • elcid89 Jul 4, 2007

    "Sky fairies, huh? So I can not discuss government policy decisions that this woman has bought into and forced into because it may make hsr feel bad, but it is just fine for you to completely deride her religious beliefs?"

    She never mentioned her beliefs. You assume she shares yours. What she did mention was her personal situation, which she can not change. Listen to this, because it's important. Even if you are 100% right about her and her life, what does it gain you to attack her after the fact when doing so can't help her and only benefits you at her expense? That's the point I was making and the one you keep missing. There is a time when in order to win a point you had to hurt this lady, and that point is when you've gone too far. Even when you win, you lose.

  • elcid89 Jul 4, 2007

    "Another liberal gambit. And unfortunately one that is winning via the ACLU and the courts. Yes, because you don't believe in God then no one else should either."

    You couldn't be more incorrect. I support people believing whatever they choose to believe. What I don't support is them trying to extend those beliefs onto other people's lives through legislation in the flawed belief that they are helping people who do not want to be helped. My attitude towards it is believe whatever you choose, and keep it to yourself while respecting my right to do the same and decide for myself the course of my own life.

    "I tell you people, it's time to stand up for our beliefs in God, country, family and ourselves against the rot of liberalism, secular humanism, relativism, and hedonism."

    Against what, Steve? The last time I checked, you guys were the majority. Are you feeling threatened simply because someone disagrees with you? (imagine that ...)

  • elcid89 Jul 4, 2007

    The point wasn't to deride religion. It was to illustrate that a common theme among your postings, and many others on here, is dogmatic devotion to whatever point you happen to be making, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Much like religion, you've determined that what you believe is absolutely correct and beyond being questioned. I was saying that I am beginning to question whether the point of these forums is to exchange ideas and find consensus, or merely to dogmatically defend positions far past the point where doing so is remotely useful. Earlier, I conceded that Medicare was a mistake. You, however, are so convinced that you are right, and that as a result everybody else is wrong, must be wrong, that debating with you is pointless because it goes nowhere. You're open to nothing and willing to discuss nothing beyond your own position and why it's right (and why everyone who questions you is wrong.) That, friend, is a hallmark of religionists, and it's a waste of my time.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 4, 2007

    "Sometimes I have to wonder why I debate with a group of people who fervently accept Fox as fact and believe in sky fairies"

    Sky fairies, huh? So I can not discuss government policy decisions that this woman has bought into and forced into because it may make hsr feel bad, but it is just fine for you to completely deride her religious beliefs?

    Another liberal gambit. And unfortunately one that is winning via the ACLU and the courts. Yes, because you don't believe in God then no one else should either.

    I tell you people, it's time to stand up for our beliefs in God, country, family and ourselves against the rot of liberalism, secular humanism, relativism, and hedonism.

    It's way past time. And on this Day of Independance, just remember that our founding fathers fought and died for their freedom to do what they wished in self-determination and with the knowledge that government is inherently evil and needs to be reduced to its smallest footprint possible.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 4, 2007

    "What's wrong with you?"

    Folks...right there is the problem with liberalism.

    They presume that no discussion of their failed policies can be entered into because someone may feel bad as a result. They do everything they can to shut down discussion while they continue to force their agenda down our throats, all the time lining their own pockets with the increasing weight of our government.

    And it's not HER decisions that are bad; it's the decisions that she was forced into making by her own government. You're the one deriding her by implying that she made the mistakes. She did not. But it is difficult to make the correct decisions in life when a gun is put to your head. Cause that's exactly what taxes are. You are forced to pay them even if it is completely against your own best interest, and if you don't pay up to their satisfaction, they come at you with weapons drawn.

    You know it. They know it. Yet we keep lying on our backs and squirming like cockroaches when they bark.

  • Steve Crisp Jul 4, 2007

    Of course I'm sorry for her plight and I DO wish her well. I just want her to see that she has been sold a bill of goods that is making her life very difficult in the long run. And not just her, but anyone who bought into the whole "I'm from the government and I'm here to take care of you" garbage.

    I would like to ask her something, though.

    Where is your church? Prior to the church having its Biblically-based responsibilities of taking care of the sick, infirmed, widowed and elderly ripped away from them, that was their job -- to take care of their members should something happen to them. But the churches gave up that responsibility because, they too, bought into the tripe of government as Big Daddy.

    Liberal social policies since the 1930s have turned this whole country upside down and very few people seem to care as long as they get that pittance of a promise of a pathetically small payment every month.

    It's very sad.

  • elcid89 Jul 4, 2007

    And that's wonderful. Not everybody, including this lady, does or can have such an arrangement. You aren't doing her any favors by telling what she should have done 30 years ago. You're just rubbing her face in your disapproval of her choices even as she survives on the pittance you are condemning her for receiving, and pardon me for saying so, but that's just mean. It's mean spirited and it's rude. What's wrong with you?

  • Steve Crisp Jul 4, 2007

    Look. I'm 51. And if I become disabled today, I spend the rest of my life receiving a weekly equivalent check of almost $2,000. All my medical bills are paid for. I have a retirement fund that I can draw on up to $500 per week indefinitely; the principle will never run out. When I die, my wife gets the entire amount of principle plus two million in life insurance.

    It's all been done with a mix of structured annuities, term and whole life insurance along with disability, really good private medical insurance, and investments in vehicles that return more than one percent on my money.

    That has cost me a bit more than the total sum paid into the SS fund along with the matching employers rate. But if I didn't have that, what would I get at 51 by relying on the government?

    A check for what? perhaps $800 per month, a reliance on government dictated health care, no life insurance, and not a single thing to leave for my wife. And a couple of hundred to bury me.

    SS is a rip off.

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