Local News

NC Voters Concerned About Taxes

Posted March 12, 1998

— One key issue for many North Carolina voters in the upcoming senatorial race is taxes. It probably won't surprise most that candidates promise to change the tax system if they are elected. What concerns the 1,000 people who were polled by WRAL-TV5 andThe News & Observerin Your Voice, Your Vote is what the government does with that tax money once it's sent to the IRS.

A majority of voters in the YVYV poll agree. Of them, 56 percent say cutting taxes should be a top priority. Most candidates running for North Carolina's Senate seat promise to push for tax credits or tax cuts.

Candidate Gene Gay says the state of the economy must be taken into consideration.

Candidate James Carmack says essentials should not be taxed.

Reducing government spending is even more important to poll respondents. A 71 percent majority say it should be a top priority.

Candidate Ella Scarborough says she thinks any surplus should be returned to voters.

Of those polled, 68 percent think it's important to make the IRS more efficient and friendly to taxpayers. Bashing the IRS has become a popular pastime, even among politicians. Candidate Mike Robinson says he feels the IRS has outgrown its usefulness.

Candidate Steve Franks says he would like to see the tax system, as it is, abolished altogether.

Candidate Leonard Plyler says if it weren't for loopholes, there wouldn't be any need for the IRS.

Incumbent Senator Lauch Faircloth thinks the system just needs to be simplified.

A flat tax could simplify your tax return to about one page, but most candidates don't want the simplification to outweigh benefits to taxpayers.

Candidate John Edwards says he doesn't support any type of simplification that will add more burden to working people.

Candidate D.G. Martin agrees with Edwards.

The IRS collects less than 85 percent of the taxes that are due. By adding collectors and raising that number by just one percent, the agencycouldbring in another $9 billion.

Look for information on each candidate's stand on taxes, IRS reform and government spending in Sunday's N&O.

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