This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
  • lilgtogirl Jan 26, 11:51 p.m.

    lusikka Texas also has more poverty. See, when you tax food, that hits the poorest people the most, making them poorer. Isn't NC becoming like the third world enough as it is? This is only a tax break for the wealthy.

  • Kegger Jan 26, 7:11 p.m.

    Texas has no state income tax..
    But they don’t have teachers.. wait they do
    But they don’t have roads.. wait they do
    But they don’t have police.. wait they do
    They have everything and a surplus budget
    The way WRAL puts the headline makes people think its evil

  • southerntalent Jan 24, 5:45 p.m.

    Wonder how much tax money NC would lose to people who would cross the borders to shop for food and only shop once a month and make bigger purchases.

  • ConservativeVoter Jan 24, 1:27 p.m.

    Only people this plan hurts are the takers don't currently pay state income taxes. For all of the workers, the increase in sales tax is much less than what they currently pay in state income taxes.

    Time for us to quit taking care of the takers who pay almost no taxes and start taking care of the workers who currently pay most of our taxes.

  • killerkestrel Jan 24, 11:50 a.m.

    Wish I made enough to pay income tax. Guess the working poor will continue to have to pay more while making less.

  • mcaldwell4 Jan 23, 2:58 p.m.

    I personally think this is a great idea. Between the property taxes, personal property taxes, personal state income tax, and HOA fees NC is not a very reasonable place to live. My company relocated me here 10 years ago and gave me a raise. The raise was more than consumed by NC personal state income tax. I am now looking to move to Florida or Tennessee where I can save $8000+ per year. When you have a family $8000.00 is a lot of money per year to leave on the table. If they do not pass this legislation...I'm outta here!!! I know a lot of other folks that feel the same way as I do and are considering a move.

  • bawolf887 Jan 22, 10:30 p.m.

    Stop all social programs: quit pretending we're a "MORAL" society. Tax consumption only, the poor have to eat, so we'll get theirs. Tax medicine and medical procedures, the sick have to pay their fair share too. Let's also be sure to tax rent and home sales at the same rate as all else. While we're at it, turn the prison system into a for profit institution: let business bid for cheap labor, what better way to stimulate growth than having a cheap captive labor force for business to draw on. As for the gas tax, leave it alone since it is a consumption tax, but I really think we ought to have an additional mileage tax collected as part of annual inspection. People that drive fuel efficient cars aren't paying their fair share for the highways. People that have gardens at home need to be taxed for their consumption of sunshine and C02 as well. Hunters need to pay by the pound for their carcasses. Can't have people avoiding their food taxes by hunting.

  • quilting bee Jan 21, 11:08 a.m.

    To those who think that the GOP will eliminate the personal income tax, please read the article more closely. "The GOP, which now controls the General Assembly, is pushing to lower the individual and corporate income tax and use a higher state sales tax applied to more things to make up for the lost income tax revenue." People with lower incomes will be paying a proportional higher part of their income than well-off individuals. Corporations are winners because taxes on food are an operating expense to be deducted and they will have lower tax rates overall. This is very unbalanced against the middle and lower class.

  • goncampn2 Jan 19, 2:33 p.m.

    elcid liked Ike:...You are soooo funny! I love people like you who just spout off thinking you know everything. I like how you tried to qouote what I posted but but a typical "progressive" that you are you only chose parts of the quote to make yourself look "intelligent" again...read the book!!!!!

  • freemansenterprizes Jan 19, 12:36 a.m.

    The GOP, which now controls the General Assembly, is pushing to lower the individual and corporate income tax and use a higher state sales tax applied to more things to make up for the lost income tax revenue. Food should be taxed, they say, because grocery spending is dependable.
    Republican lawmakers contend that those costs will be offset by lower income taxes. Rowe notes, however, that many low-income families don't owe any state income tax, so they won't benefit from a cut.
    "It just really appears to be making up for cuts for folks at the higher end and corporations, which really does strike me as being a very unfair way to go," Rowe said.
    So in sort reduce the tax burden on those with taxable income, and take it from those that have no taxable income, and force more of them to more government funded assistance, dyeing, or into desperation and stealing.

  • ConservativeVoter Jan 18, 8:17 p.m.

    I have a friend who moved from North Carolina to Tennessee. They have no state income tax and a 9.25% sales tax.

    He claims even with the increase in sales taxes from 7% in NC to 9.25% in TN that he got a $7200 pay increase just by not having to pay sales taxes.

    It's hard for me to believe that working people are arguing against what the republicans are proposing.

    Based on my friends experience, if the sales tax goes from 7% to 8% and the food tax goes from 2% to 8%, those in North Carolina who pay income tax will come out ahead.

    The takers on welfare will come out behind because they will see a sales tax increase with no offsetting income tax decrease.

  • rushbot Jan 18, 7:47 p.m.

    The poor and the middle..not doin' so well..On the other hand, Art Pope, well let me tell you this about Art Pope. Art Pope is all smiles!!!

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 7:46 p.m.

    jumkmail5 I will agree, however, that the poor and elderly should have a tax break when it comes to true necessities. I would be all for that. I even agree in this day and age a SIMPLE cell (not the one's I've seen people with that have text capabilities,etc that are nicer than mine) could be considered a necessity just for safety reasons. I'm not for oppressing the poor or elderly. If government did their job and worked harder at ensuring people aren't abusing the system and drug testing EVERYONE on welfare as aggressive as they are investigating medicare/medicaid fraud within the healthcare facilities we'd see alot of tax dollars saved! I'm not saying they shouldn't be investigating those facilities for fraud, they certainly should as it squanders OUR tax dollars we paid, but they need to look at the obvious as well as the not so obvious that requires a much thorough investigation!

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 7:38 p.m.

    Anyone...is groceries bought with foodstamps taxed? I would hope not which would help the lower income that qualified for foodstamps somewhat.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 7:34 p.m.

    razor2...it's not just the republicans throwing the elderly under the bus...

  • junkmail5 Jan 18, 7:32 p.m.

    Junkmail it may shock you to know that everything you read may not be impartial as well just because they are a well recognized organization. I'm not saying the report is wrong, I haven't read it, but I do have sense enough to go by MY experiences and not just by what I read.-dontgetmestarted

    That's somewhat the opposite of "sense" though when considering state or national policies.

    Because those policies impact far more than you personally.

    Thus a broad-based study that looks at many households is a much more useful set of data than "What you personally do at the grocery store" when considering questions like this.

    At the end of the day healthy and/or homemade foods are more economical than "convenience" foods.- don't get me started

    But they aren't you see. Because when they actually study this stuff they find that unhealthy foods are cheaper.

    It sounds like you're just narrowing your defintions to find something be right about.."well, this SPECIFIC bad food cost more"

  • junkmail5 Jan 18, 7:30 p.m.

    Did they have Section 8, WIC, food stamps, TANF, and free breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend/summer feedings, and program after program after program in Adam Smith's time? Apples to hammers.
    Morrigan

    No, actually, those things make the EXACT point smith was making.

    If you DO tax the poor to the point they can't pay for basic necessities, the rich will end up paying for them anyway.

    Here's a bit more of that quote-

    "It must always be remembered, however, that it is the luxurious and not the necessary expense of the inferior ranks of people that ought ever to be taxed. The final payment of any tax upon their necessary expense would fall altogether upon the superior ranks of people"

    In other words, if you tax basic needs of poor people, the rich end up having to pay that expense anyway.

    So it's dumb to tax neccesities of the poor at all.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 7:29 p.m.

    junkmail, instead of insulting others to get YOUR point across why don't you try to just "discuss" like the rest of us.

    "because it doesn't punish people for earning money. Morrigan

    No, it just punishes the ones who earn less of it.

    Which is an incredibly dumb idea, as even Adam Smith recognized.
    Why don't you?"

    THAT kind of reply would be MY idea of trying to "project your personal opinion onto the other 300+ million of us".

    Just saying...

  • Plenty Coups Jan 18, 7:27 p.m.

    Tax me and cut ny services so the rich don't have to pay more! Why are these posters in favor of that?? I don't understand it. Too much talk radio I think.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 7:26 p.m.

    Junkmail it may shock you to know that everything you read may not be impartial as well just because they are a well recognized organization. I'm not saying the report is wrong, I haven't read it, but I do have sense enough to go by MY experiences and not just by what I read. I know there is great research from great institutions out there but those kind of things vary as much as there are different people researching them. I know science, I work in the healthcare field, but common sense goes a long way. Yes, ramen noodles are cheaper than apples, pasta generally is very inexpensive but that is an exception not the rule. At the end of the day healthy and/or homemade foods are more economical than "convenience" foods.
    As far as "The one you're doing is "projecting your personal experience onto the other 300+ million of us and assuming every person and situation is just like mine" do not presume to put words in my mouth. I never presumed to project anything on anyone just making a

  • razor2 Jan 18, 7:17 p.m.

    The greed and self interest that the republicans bring to the table to steal more money from honest people is disgusting to say the very least. If we the people of the state of N.C. stand by and allow this to happen then you can all look for the financial divide
    to grow exponentially in favor of the wealthy and the upper middle
    class. The elderly get thrown under the bus with the poor just so
    the few can make more. We are headed for a class war thats going to
    rock the foundations of our country all to satisfy the greed of a
    few greedy people.. It truly saddens me that a country as great as
    ours is being overran by greed, avarice and out and out gluttony. Shame on our preachers priests and other religious leaders for not taking a stand and fighting against these issues and thieves that not only rob its citizens but our children's futures all for a buck... Shakes head....

  • Terkel Jan 18, 7:15 p.m.

    Exactly, dontgetmestarted. And it's just that much less money we're sending to China...and to the evil corporations!

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 7:12 p.m.

    WhooHoo2You...I'll have to agree on your post about the tax deferred health savings account and loopholes. If the Romney's are claiming an $80K horse as a medical device shame on them! However, our current President is the one who made a LARGE cut in the things we can buy with our tax deferred accounts like my flexcard. I now have to get a prescription for Tylenol and Motrin just to be able to use my flexcard to purchase it. That's ridiculous. That encourages some people to take their children(and themselves) to the ER (no one has PCP's anymore) just to get a prescription for things they can use and treat at home. Of course, I don't do that because the co-pay at the pediatrician well outweighs the benefit!!! But not everyone sees it that way.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 7:06 p.m.

    Morrigan...I do agree about not having a baby if you're scraping by...but, even with the BEST planning and being careful nature has a way. I agree, if you can't feed yourself you have no right to bring another person in this world, voluntarily, until you can support yourself AND them. However, some people still seem to think that having children is a right and not a blessing that you are responsible for. That being said, as I stated in the beginning...sometimes you just don't "plan" babies or they are already here when hardship strikes an otherwise self sufficient family. :-/

  • Terkel Jan 18, 6:53 p.m.

    Did they have Section 8, WIC, food stamps, TANF, and free breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend/summer feedings, and program after program after program in Adam Smith's time? Apples to hammers.

  • WooHoo2You Jan 18, 6:51 p.m.

    "Remind me again why you support this?" - elcid liked Ike

    I'll repeat myself: because it doesn't punish people for earning money.- Morrigan

    How is being taxed at the LOWEST RATE a "punishment?" We are coddling the wealthy with our current tax scales, deductions, loopholes, etc. Somehow the Romney's can claim a 80,000 horse as a 'medical device' but I can't buy band-aides with my tax deferred health savings account. BTW, does your company pay your salary in stocks so your income is "capital gains" or do they pay you in dollars which are taxed at twice the rate?

  • junkmail5 Jan 18, 6:51 p.m.

    junkmail5...I'm just going by my experiences. -dontgetmestarted

    Yes, and I'm going by a comprehensive report from the national institutes of health considering food costs across a broad range.

    The one I'm doing is called science.

    The one you're doing is "projecting your personal experience onto the other 300+ million of us and assuming every person and situation is just like mine"

    a bag of apples which will last several days will be around the same price.- dontgetmestarted

    and a case of ramen will last a month for what a bag of apples cost.

    Because unhealthy food is generally cheaper than healthy food.

    because it doesn't punish people for earning money.
    Morrigan

    No, it just punishes the ones who earn less of it.

    Which is an incredibly dumb idea, as even Adam Smith recognized.

    Why don't you?

  • Terkel Jan 18, 6:48 p.m.

    "What do you do when prices go up? If you are, for example, a family with a newborn, you can't really buy less formula or fewer diapers. "

    If you're scraping by, you don't have a baby.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 6:47 p.m.

    Morrigan...I don't feel "used" goods should be taxed again either. It not only helps those that buy them because they can't afford "new" but also encourages those who can to recycle so to speak and helping to reduce over production and waste. Won't do much to help the clothing manufacter nor the automotive industry (I'll try to avoid the strong desire to go there about another "bail out" for SOME of the automotive industry) :( BUT recycling is GOOD!

  • WooHoo2You Jan 18, 6:44 p.m.

    So the GOP "plans" to end state income tax after they raise sales tax and CREATE a service tax. Is that like how they "planned" to give the poor free IDs in their Voter ID bill but left it out in the end? (BTW, the free ID part actually made the bill constitutional)

  • Terkel Jan 18, 6:42 p.m.

    "This doesn't lower state taxes. It shifts them from income taxes to sales taxes. Sooooo at the end of the day it is an issue for federal taxes." Killing Time

    Remember, all that you "lose" is the taxes you would not have paid if you'd paid State income tax. Some people think a deduction is the same as a credit (dollar for dollar). It's not. It's a "pretend" reduction in the amount you earned, not an amount subtracted from the amount you owe the Feds. The additional money in the check will more than compensate. Good point though, and worth discussing.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 6:40 p.m.

    junkmail5...I'm just going by my experiences. Prepackaged foods like frozen entree's cost more than if I bought a package of veggies, pack of chicken, etc...and divided the portions and cooked it myself as far as how many meals I can get out of them. A bag of chips (mostly air) that will last a day if that will be about $2-4 and a bag of apples which will last several days will be around the same price. I'm going my my experiences with shopping not statistics that can differ depending upon who does the research and the point they need to make.

  • Terkel Jan 18, 6:38 p.m.

    "Remind me again why you support this?" - elcid liked Ike

    I'll repeat myself: because it doesn't punish people for earning money.

  • Terkel Jan 18, 6:33 p.m.

    el cid, the presumption is that the 29% Fair Tax will be applied at the retail level only. Right now, you make a computer but you buy the boards from me. I add sales tax to the board, which you pass on as part of the cost of the computer, plus you add your sales tax too. The bits that I bought to make the board were taxed, which I passed on to you, and you pass also to the consumer. 3 taxable events.

    With the Fair Tax, the bits wouldn't be taxed, neither would the board, so you'd lower your price and add 29% sales tax, and in theory the price remains the same. Used goods would not be taxed a second time, as is my current Goodwill wardrobe. My used truck wouldn't have been taxed again, nor my used tractor. Does that shed any light on the big picture? Hope I got the math right this time!

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 6:31 p.m.

    Please no one turn my words around saying I'm lower income families squander their money, etc...eat too much...etc...that's NOT what I was saying. Just stating healthy foods can lower grocery bills a little...saving a little money...every little bit helps. I am including myself in this as well.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 6:27 p.m.

    SkeeterII...I agree the elderly who don't pay state tax would bear more of the tax burden and would like to see a way they could get a reduced rate at the register. I don't think it unfair to anyone that the retired/elderly be exempt from paying the food taxes altogether. They have done their part and should be given a break. They are still contributing to the economy by simply purchasing goods. It's not like some of the young who will likely be on "the system" for the rest of their lives (all races included). It's sad that those who are lower income and qualify for foodstamps simply don't apply because of shame. They may be unemployed for the first time in their life or simply don't make much but refuse to get assistance because of the "stigma" attached to that assistance because of those who have no qualms abusing the system and are actually proud of it. Sorry, I know that was a tangent but it just infuriates me the struggles some go through while some just don't care.

  • AliceBToklas Jan 18, 6:27 p.m.

    How wonderful. I've worked very hard for 36 years and have a nice savings I was planning to live on before taking my retirement and social security. I was planning this also being income tax free for 10 years - as we'd have no income. Now, I find out my taxes are going up a very significant amount?

    Just what I wanted in my retirement.

    Don't get me wrong, I'll be fine, but there no way I can be in favor of this.

  • junkmail5 Jan 18, 6:26 p.m.

    Also, maybe that will force some of America to eat healthier. Unhealthy foods and "convenience" foods tend to cost more. -dontgetmestarted

    Uh, no, just the opposite in fact.

    That's one reason the poor eat so badly nutrition-wise.

    Healthy, fresh, foods tend to COST MORE.

    So jacking the tax on food makes it make likely they will eat BADLY.

    But don't believe me... here's the national institutes of health saying the same thing-

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20720258

    "These price differentials may help to explain why low-cost, energy-dense foods that are nutrient poor are associated with lower education and incomes."

  • oldaltar Jan 18, 6:19 p.m.

    Economists have long been attracted to consumption taxes because, unlike an income tax, they do not penalize saving. The Achilles Heel, however, has been that consumption taxes tend to be regressive—hitting lower-income people proportionately harder than higher-income folks. The reason is simple: low-income people spend all their income (or more) while those with higher incomes save a substantial portion. Thus, the sales tax or the VAT tend to be most burdensome on those struggling to get by. Sometimes the regressivity is lessened by exempting necessities like food, clothing, and medicine or taxing them at a lighter rate, but that makes the tax more complex, opens new avenues for tax evasion, and reduces the efficiency advantages of the tax. we should hope that this tax policy will create good paying jobs.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 6:14 p.m.

    Also, maybe that will force some of America to eat healthier. Unhealthy foods and "convenience" foods tend to cost more. A bag of potato chips that last about 5mins is more than a bag of fruit, I know, I explain that to my children, luckily they love fruit. Also it may encourage those who lack portion control to eat less. America's weight problem is an epidemic and it also exists in lower income families. Not saying they "splurge" on groceries just stating that it encompasses all socioeconomic groups. Healthy foods tend to be more cost effective...

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 6:08 p.m.

    elcid liked Ike I understand and agree the challanges it presents to struggling families, been there myself. I was a single mother and had those same challenges when my oldest son was young. However, in those situations you cut back in other areas. Unfortunately sometimes there may be very limited areas you can actually cut back in but they are there most of the time. According to the article it's just over $20/month more on a $100/month grocery budget. That's just under 1/4 of of the total bill. I feel sacrifices elsewhere can be made to make up that cost. Some will sacrifice more than others, obviously, but that's going to be true no matter what you do. I like the idea of making those that do not pay taxes otherwise (illegals, tax evasion, etc.) to be forced to contribute while being able to have more control over the amount I pay by budgeting. That's not trying to keep from doing my share but practicing good stewardship of my finances.

  • djofraleigh Jan 18, 6:05 p.m.

    Democrat Tery Sanford gave us the evil to the poor food tax and now the Republicans want to increase it from 2% to 8%...Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

  • skeeter II Jan 18, 5:58 p.m.

    Based upon a law suit, many citizen's have retirement pay that is not taxable in North Carolina. How will this be handled if the state changes to only a state sales tax.

    If not taken into account, this will cause these people to pay more taxes than they currently are paying. Will these individuals be given a different ID card that could be shown to the retailer, causing no sales taxes to be charged. This would not seem fair to the rest of us!

    One of many items to be considered in changing to a sales tax basis. I also understand that they want to begin taxing services, which are not now taxed.

    Is the proposed change to an increased sales tax and have no income tax thought to be a simplification of the tax revenue problem. Would this also mean the elimination of the NC Dept of Revenue and the firing of all their current employees??????????

    Sound like a "can of worms" that should not be opened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • junkmail5 Jan 18, 5:55 p.m.

    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich . . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    "It must always be remembered, however, that it is the luxuries, and not the necessary expense of the inferior ranks of people, that ought ever to be taxed."

    That's Adam Smith. The guy who literally wrote the book on capitalism

    Even Mr. Capitalism himself understood jacking up the tax on things like food was an incredibly dumb, regressive, and unwise idea.

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 5:45 p.m.

    aetius476...exactly!!!

  • elcid liked Ike Jan 18, 5:41 p.m.

    "Income tax collect NOTHING from those who don't file a return, or work "under the table" for cash. Those folks need to pay some taxes...." - aetius476

    They do. They pay sales taxes, among others. You'd have a difficult time finding anybody who doesn't have any tax liability - that animal doesn't exist. We don't subject them to income taxes for a variety of reasons - chief among these is that they barely survive as it is, and imposing an income tax just renders them unable to do so. In that instance, they have two options - turn to public assistance or turn to crime.

    Beyond that- this directly impacts the elderly, and hard. Is that really a road we want to go down?

  • dontgetmestarted Jan 18, 5:38 p.m.

    killing time...that sounds good but I they like the idea of taxing something they KNOW we have to buy. It's guaranteed money. I also see your point about the federal taxes though. Reducing state taxes increases taxable income for the feds.

  • elcid liked Ike Jan 18, 5:38 p.m.

    And I wouldn't disagree in theory, dontgetmestarted, but my question is this:

    What do you do when prices go up? If you are, for example, a family with a newborn, you can't really buy less formula or fewer diapers. If you are the guy earning minimum wage, you are already spending a large portion of your income on a relatively small portion of food, so if the sales tax goes up, you have no choice but to eat less.

    And eating less opens up a whole other can of worms - it can lead to health problems.

    Final thought - this exposes you to a varying tax burden. There is a minimum quantity of food that you have to eat. I think we'd all agree on that, so as food prices fluctuate while your income remains constant, your tax burden also fluctuates.

    And I'd wager that you aren't thinking about your tax burden at the checkout counter. You're thinking about how to obtain enough food to feed your family.

  • aetius476 Jan 18, 5:29 p.m.

    "Remind me again why you support this?" - elcid liked Ike

    Because unlike state income tax, this will bring money in from those who currently do not file a tax return, or have no state liablity. Illegals, those in the "shadow economy", wealthy folks that hide all their income with deductions, etc.

    Collecting some tax on food is a great way to broaden the base, level out the swings in collections (food is recesion proof), and make the whole tax code more equitable (everyone buys food).

    Income tax collect NOTHING from those who don't file a return, or work "under the table" for cash. Those folks need to pay some taxes....

  • Killing Time Jan 18, 5:28 p.m.

    Heck, why don't we raise the sales tax on all goods and services aside from groceries. For groceries, we only raise it to 1 or 2% instead of the 8%. It's still simple and it doesn't punish people for buying basic needs.

Oldest First