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  • Terkel Jan 24, 5:31 p.m.

    Maybe a sales tax would chase away the illegals, drug dealers, under-the-table "disabled" who collect AND work for cash, prostitutes, "yard salers" who do it for a living and don't report, people who buy junk and resell it on Craigslist for a living. Would that be so bad?

  • oldaltar Jan 24, 5:05 p.m.

    What did The POPE say. He said the proposed sales tax is regressive and would hurt people like you and me. That is it. What are you fusing about!

  • arfamr1007 Jan 24, 3:26 p.m.

    No, but apparently republicans are.
    goldenosprey

    how so? they are trying to create a business friendly climate where people can find work and make a good living. Every democrat policy costs businesses money and attempts to push them out of the country whether its income taxes, forced benefits, regulations, controlled profits, or a number of other ideas they support. Democrats also support programs that make it more appealing to stay home because entitlements pay better than entry level jobs. Why would someone hire an entry level worker and pay them $100k? That makes no sense but it is what democrats think should happen. You have no clue how a business operates and more than that no knowledge of basic economics. When the government incentivises laziness and punishes success, you are on the road to collapse. (51% of Americans will pay no net federal income tax this year, who do you think they will vote for in 2014?)

  • goldenosprey Jan 24, 1:43 p.m.

    "
    so you're ok with only 0.5% of America being successful? "-arfamr1007

    No, but apparently republicans are.

  • arfamr1007 Jan 24, 1:33 p.m.

    So should you have to pay more taxes? IMHO yes. Graduating from middle-income to disproportionately wealthy SHOULD become progressively more difficult (not impossible of course, but difficult) in order to avoid the current obscene disparities in America.
    ILoveDowntownRaleigh

    so you're ok with only 0.5% of America being successful? You sir or ma'am are unamerican to even suggest it should be difficult to be successful by way of taxation

  • jlp Jan 24, 1:06 p.m.

    "you have no evidence or facts supporting this." - lrfarms27572

    It's called math and common sense. You should give it a try sometime. Unfortunately Republicans are terrible at math.

  • jlp Jan 24, 12:54 p.m.

    "True but a lot of people complaining live off of free money so to me they have no voice. They are already living off the working man." - ncouterbanks69

    I'm not sure what country you live in but here in the United States, all citizens have a voice. We have this pesky thing called the Constitution that you conservatives only believe in when it benefits you.

  • jlp Jan 24, 12:50 p.m.

    "And pray tell, just how is an increase or decrease in the overall sales tax going to give Pope's stores a competitive advantage or disadvantage when every other store collects the identical same tax???" - JoCo50 at MXR

    I guess math was your worst subject. All of Art Pope's stores target the poor with cheap junk from China. Have you been to a Roses or Maxway lately? If these people with already tight budgets have to pay more for all of their goods and services, they are going to have less money left over to shop at Roses and Maxway. So while someone was correct that the tax is collected from the consumer with no direct impact on the companies bottom line, you are incorrect because it will cause this indirect effect on the bottom line described above. Shifting the tax burden to the poor means less money for the poor to by his cheap junk from China.

  • jlp Jan 24, 12:36 p.m.

    "It's interesting that WRAL would describe Pope as a "divisive figure" for being a Republican." - JoCo50 at MXR

    This shows your ignorance in the matter. It has nothing to do with being a Republican. Perdue and Barber never spent $40 million dollars over a decade to buy the entire state government. Do you have that kind of money to buy influence? One person should not have total control over the government. This is what we call a dictatorship. All three branches of NC government are now filled with puppets of Pope. McCrory is governor in title only. If he or any legislator crosses Art Pope they will find a primary opponent and a fierce negative campaign against them at the next election. This is how you buy a democracy.

    The funny thing will be to watch you people when you finally realize that you've been had and you aren't getting the change you hoped for. Enjoy your grocery bill next year.

  • Save It Jan 24, 12:19 p.m.

    "Art Pope's companies are downmarket retail stores. He doesn't want a sales tax increase because it impacts his bottom line." - bill15

    Bill wins. Not too many with six figure incomes shopping at Super Dollar. Pope knows his customer base can't absorb a sales tax increase. He's been robbing from the poor for a long time and doesn't need government competition.

  • Save It Jan 24, 12:11 p.m.

    The holy roller, conservative, morality police worried about revenue need only repeat three words: Legalize and tax.

    I know, too simple a revenue solution when obligated to worry about legislating the way others live their lives to a moral code of conduct. Somehow that's translated into "less government" by those who speak GOP but I haven't been able to decipher it yet.

  • Save It Jan 24, 12:06 p.m.

    The biggest reason this won't work is Amazon.com. I can't recall a big ticket item I purchased in a NC store because I can get the same thing on-line, cheaper, no shipping and no sales tax. For this reason groceries, haircuts, gas and cars is where this revenue would have to come from. Any consumer electronics, sporting equipment, clothing accessories...even a guinea pig cage... forget it. It will hurt NC retailers.

  • goldenosprey Jan 24, 12:03 p.m.

    "As a percentage of their income? Absolutely not. Poor people spend a much bigger percentage of their income on "normal stuff" that would be subject to sales tax. That means the effective tax RATE for poor people would he higher than for rich people. Expecting the poorest people to pay a higher tax rate than the richest is the opposite of fair."-bill0

    This argument has been repeated a zillion times. You don't get it. Posters DO NOT CARE about how this hits poor people. They only care about themselves and believe they are either rich enough or can play the system enough to lower their tax rate. So let these poor suckers pick up the slack.

    Typical lib thinking. Starting with the precept everyone is as altruistic as yourself.

  • godnessgracious2 Jan 24, 11:54 a.m.

    No, you just think the people that complain are living off free money. You have no actual clue. I bet you think that I don't pay any NC income tax on my 25k salary. godnessgracious2

    you pay very little as a percentage and get most of it back. I'd say at most you net out paying $500 or so at most. That is not fair when someone making 60k pays in $4500. That's a higher percentage. We need to make this fair and even for everyone...ya know...spread the burden around.

    You are clueless, I paid $1200 in NC income tax, This just shows how out of touch you are. No wonder you hate us working poor people, you think we pay less than half of what we really pay.

  • bill0 Jan 24, 11:42 a.m.

    " If they had the money to pay for the services, then they wouldn't be getting the services in the first place."

    Unfortunately, that is not true in the US. We literally tax people making minimum wage in order to send checks to retired millionaires. The "sliding scale" for services has slid so far up the ladder that we subsidize a whole lot more than just the poor.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jan 24, 11:16 a.m.

    "you pay very little as a percentage and get most of it back. I'd say at most you net out paying $500 or so at most. That is not fair when someone making 60k pays in $4500. That's a higher percentage. We need to make this fair and even for everyone...ya know...spread the burden around. - arfamr1007"

    This issue is much more complex than a simple comparison of tax percentages.

    What does it take to cover the bare necessities (like food and shelter) in our current society? Most would agree that number is close to 25,000, give or take 5,000. So if you make more than double that number (you mentioned 60,000) much of that money is available for a few "amenities" such as emergency funds and retirement savings.

    So should you have to pay more taxes? IMHO yes. Graduating from middle-income to disproportionately wealthy SHOULD become progressively more difficult (not impossible of course, but difficult) in order to avoid the current obscene disparities in America.

  • whinnfjord Jan 24, 10:56 a.m.

    So how does it make sense to identify people as being poor enough to need government assistance and then to make them pay for it? They're POOR! This argument that the poor need to pay for the services they use (which they are allowed to use because they have been identified as low income) doesn't make any sense. If they had the money to pay for the services, then they wouldn't be getting the services in the first place.

  • NYtoNC81 Jan 24, 10:43 a.m.

    lrfarms27572: seems to me like all but one are better than the national average right now....

    ...i'd say thats a pretty good indicator.

    Me: States that were hit the hardest like NV, MI and OH pull up the average rate. Better to look at the median and not the mean. Four of the nine are below the median and five of the nine are above the median.

    Certainly nothing can be ascertained from just a UE number but there is little evidence that lack of personal income tax correlates with better UE numbers or wealth accumulation.

  • arfamr1007 Jan 24, 10:33 a.m.

    No, you just think the people that complain are living off free money. You have no actual clue. I bet you think that I don't pay any NC income tax on my 25k salary.
    godnessgracious2

    you pay very little as a percentage and get most of it back. I'd say at most you net out paying $500 or so at most. That is not fair when someone making 60k pays in $4500. That's a higher percentage. We need to make this fair and even for everyone...ya know...spread the burden around.

  • arfamr1007 Jan 24, 10:30 a.m.

    A higher sales tax in place of a state income tax is a regressive tax. People of lower means spend all of their income, so they are being taxed on every dollar the tough. Higher income people save and invest, therefore people of higher means pay less tax.

    It is not a simple solution.
    beachboater

    cry me a river...wealthier people spend more money and therefore will still pay most of the tax burden...it's about time we ask the 51% to pony up and contribute a litte to the programs they utilize!!

  • whinnfjord Jan 24, 10:30 a.m.

    Wealthy people have these things called "savings accounts" and "investments" which would obviously not be subject to a sales/consumption-based tax policy. Studies have shown that the wealthy actually save/invest as much as 20% of their income, whereas low income people literally live paycheck to paycheck with no savings. So everything that the poor earn would be subject to such a consumption tax, whereas the wealthy would only have 80-90% (for sake of argument) subject to such a tax scheme. That means that the wealthy would have a lower net tax rate even where there is a flat tax rate based on consumption because the wealthy do not spend everything that they earn on consumables. Not to mention the fact that the wealthy generally have a much easier time in finding ways to avoid paying such a consumption tax by shopping at places online such as Amazon that refuse to collect NC sales tax at purchase. Suffice to say, Art Pope is right in that this tax scheme is definitely regressive!

  • godnessgracious2 Jan 24, 10:26 a.m.

    It's more than just groceries, bud. You and I get to pay more for everything so the richest don't have to contribute as much anymore. Sounds like a recipe for social upheaval to be honest. godnessgracious2

    True but a lot of people complaining live off of free money so to me they have no voice. They are already living off the working man.

    No, you just think the people that complain are living off free money. You have no actual clue. I bet you think that I don't pay any NC income tax on my 25k salary.

  • BigSteamnTurd Jan 24, 10:23 a.m.

    Legalize the weed and problems are solved.

  • StateFan99 Jan 24, 10:23 a.m.

    That's not the point. It's an incredibly regressive tax. You're "punishing" the middle and lower classes a lot more since they have to spend a much greater proportion of their income on the necessities of life-food, clothing, shelter. They have less disposable income left over. It's also a strong disincentive to those, who through sheer numbers, drive the economy with their purchases. Let's tax them more and cause them to have to cut back and spend less! I can't understand the logic of someone who feels they should be taxed more so that the rich, who they probably aren't, can get another break.

    I'm "middle-class" and have no problem with this as long as they do away with the income tax, and as long as I have more money in my paycheck every week, I have no issues with paying a bit more for groceries. I'll actually end up with more money in my pocket at the end of the year. And for those without an income tax who's fault is that to begin with?

  • lrfarms27572 Jan 24, 10:20 a.m.

    First of all, the tax is regressive. The poorer you are, the greater percentage you'll pay of your income. Second, it decreases taxes on the wealthy and increases them on poor and middle class folks. If you're wealthy, this is great. But for the rest of us, it's bad news.

    27228

    you have no evidence or facts supporting this.

    Minimum tax rate in NC is 6%, that's 6% of everything you bring in. If you can do math and balance a budget, that means that you would have to spend 6% more on EVERYTHING you buy/pay for to break even.

    that mean that tax rates would have to increase a minimum of 6% across the board to support any arguement that "you would have less money"

  • bill0 Jan 24, 10:15 a.m.

    ""So you think that maybe the rich people won't pay more in consumable taxes, when I bet they pay way more than you or I do for food, personal grooming, car repairs, and other personal services?"
    "

    In absolute dollars? Certainly. People with more money spend more money.

    As a percentage of their income? Absolutely not. Poor people spend a much bigger percentage of their income on "normal stuff" that would be subject to sales tax. That means the effective tax RATE for poor people would he higher than for rich people. Expecting the poorest people to pay a higher tax rate than the richest is the opposite of fair.

  • 27228 Jan 24, 10:05 a.m.

    "so instead of being taxed at a minimum of 6% on EVERYTHING you make you will now be taxed ONLY on the things you buy....

    ....why is everyone so upset about this...?"

    First of all, the tax is regressive. The poorer you are, the greater percentage you'll pay of your income. Second, it decreases taxes on the wealthy and increases them on poor and middle class folks. If you're wealthy, this is great. But for the rest of us, it's bad news.

  • westernwake1 Jan 24, 10:05 a.m.

    Let me say that I had the opportunity many years ago to meet Art Pope at a business conference in Raleigh and have a direct conversation with him (as part of a small group) for about 1/2 hour. The subject of the conversation was income taxes, sales taxes, and business taxes in North Carolina.

    Many people in this forum make Art Pope out to be a conservative hack. The reality is that I found him to be very articulate and knowledgeable. He was able to recite complete sets of statistics on taxation impact, information from other states, and cite studies directly as he addressed the subject of taxation. The guy is no light-weight and clearly knows his stuff.

    From this article it is clear his views have not changed. I may not agree with his perspective but he is obviously very bright and knows the realities of public tax policy. Trying to make Art Pope out as simply some conservative hack does not do justice to the guy and causes people to under-estimate his ability & knowledge.

  • beachboater Jan 24, 9:57 a.m.

    Seems like most people posting here don't fully understand all things tax. The state, or anyone associated with state government is not looking at a tax decrease. We are on a tight budget now. An elimination of the income tax would have to be replaced with some other tax which would give the state the same or more tax revenue.

    The retirement income that is exempt from state tax was the result of a promise to state workers made by the state. It does affect retirees that were vested in the state retirement system prior to August of 1986. No one else.

    A higher sales tax in place of a state income tax is a regressive tax. People of lower means spend all of their income, so they are being taxed on every dollar the tough. Higher income people save and invest, therefore people of higher means pay less tax.

    It is not a simple solution.

  • nighttrain2010 Jan 24, 9:57 a.m.

    >>Do you not buy any products or services other than groceries? Buy any clothes, appliances, lawn care, get your hair done? see an accountant? - goldenosprey

    Why yes I do. And I pay whatever the current tax rate is. Increase it to 8%, that's one or two pennies more. Compared to the amount of extra money that EVERYONE would have, I'd say that's a rather good deal. Taxed on what we spend, instead of being productive and having a job.

  • Plenty Coups Jan 24, 9:57 a.m.

    "So you think that maybe the rich people won't pay more in consumable taxes, when I bet they pay way more than you or I do for food, personal grooming, car repairs, and other personal services?"

    That's not the point. It's an incredibly regressive tax. You're "punishing" the middle and lower classes a lot more since they have to spend a much greater proportion of their income on the necessities of life-food, clothing, shelter. They have less disposable income left over. It's also a strong disincentive to those, who through sheer numbers, drive the economy with their purchases. Let's tax them more and cause them to have to cut back and spend less! I can't understand the logic of someone who feels they should be taxed more so that the rich, who they probably aren't, can get another break.

  • westernwake1 Jan 24, 9:56 a.m.

    "And pray tell, just how is an increase or decrease in the overall sales tax going to give Pope's stores a competitive advantage or disadvantage when every other store collects the identical same tax???" - JoCo50 at MXR

    I don't think the issue is competitive advantage. The issue is that when a shopper is at his low cost store and has $50 total budget in their pocket, they will buy more items (read as more profit) when the sales tax rate is lower.

  • bill0 Jan 24, 9:55 a.m.

    "so instead of being taxed at a minimum of 6% on EVERYTHING you make you will now be taxed ONLY on the things you buy....

    ....why is everyone so upset about this...?"

    Because you don't seem to understand how an income tax works. You absolutely do NOT get taxed on every dollar you make. You deduct all sorts of things BEFORE you apply the 6% rate. For the lowest earners, that results in a tax bill way less than 6%.

  • mistervegas Jan 24, 9:51 a.m.

    How about getting rid of the tax on groceries. This would certainly help the middle and lower income families. Lower the corporate tax for big and small businesses. That might bring in new jobs.

  • lrfarms27572 Jan 24, 9:51 a.m.

    Alaska: 18th with a 6.6% UE rate Florida: 35th with a 8.0% UE rate Nevada: 50th (dead last) with a 10.2% UE rate New Hampshire: 14th with a 5.7% UE rate South Dakota: 3rd with a 4.4% UE rate Tennessee: 30th with a 7.6% UE rate Texas: 16th with a 6.1% UE rate Washington: 30th with a 7.6% UE rate

    Explain to me how there is any pattern of a "flourishing" economy given the above. I don't get it.

    NYtoNC81

    seems to me like all but one are better than the national average right now....

    ...i'd say thats a pretty good indicator.

  • PanthersFan45 Jan 24, 9:50 a.m.

    It don't think it will ever gain enough traction to happen, I just don't see it. I do like the idea but there needs to be responsible spending cuts too ..... trouble is there is too much shifting of tax burdens. Taxes on groceries and other fees to pick up the slack will hit the poor people the hardest. I understand the argument to get EVERYONE paying taxes, even those who are collecting freebies, but I think you'll inevitbaly drive the poverty rate up further than it already is. Personally, I don't want to see any NEW taxes or tax increases for anyone.

  • lrfarms27572 Jan 24, 9:48 a.m.

    So let me get all of this straight, the idea is to remove a tax rate of no less than 6% (plus a base in most cases) and replace it with a sales tax (of unknown rate at this point in time).

    so instead of being taxed at a minimum of 6% on EVERYTHING you make you will now be taxed ONLY on the things you buy....

    ....why is everyone so upset about this...?

  • eddybal Jan 24, 9:46 a.m.

    I am at a loss to why any flat tax is considered to be a "fair" tax by some people. Please explain.

  • Big John Jan 24, 9:46 a.m.

    Bring on the higher sales tax and eliminate the income tax. You can talk all you want about how it taxes the poor more. In some cases, they need to be taxed more. In others, higher sales tax would just reduce the amount they can spend on lottery tickets, sweepstakes games, cigarettes, and other wasteful things that many poor people spend their money on but the wealthy don't. If NC needs the same amount of revenue, every dollar that comes from the poor which would have otherwise been wasted is a plus to me. When taxes go up, people cut back. That's what everyone that makes income over Obama's precious $200K is doing right now. They are cutting back and so can the poor. The only difference is that the wealthy cut back on many things that benefit the poor.

  • Taxpayingcitizen Jan 24, 9:38 a.m.

    "It's more than just groceries, bud. You and I get to pay more for everything so the richest don't have to contribute as much anymore. Sounds like a recipe for social upheaval to be honest.
    godnessgracious2"

    So you think that maybe the rich people won't pay more in consumable taxes, when I bet they pay way more than you or I do for food, personal grooming, car repairs, and other personal services? The tax would be based on the amount of the service...

    Please stop punishing the rich for doing well in life. They are not responsible for those that did not.

  • benhansen74 Jan 24, 9:37 a.m.

    No, no, no Artful Popery you are not being singled out as a representative of the "Republican majority". You are being singled out for the ill-conceived, bad for the State, narrow-minded approach to get your way and your plans to sabotage the good things we had going for us. You got your money and to h--- with anyone else who disagrees with you.
    Oh, rhetoric is one thing but let's not forget that McCorker is serving you, not the people of NC and you are certainly not serving him. I wonder how many years from now he will finally wake up and realize this. The next time you tell McCorker to add someone to his cabinet at least tell him how to pronounce their name; it's Tater.

  • ncouterbanks69 Jan 24, 9:37 a.m.

    It's more than just groceries, bud. You and I get to pay more for everything so the richest don't have to contribute as much anymore. Sounds like a recipe for social upheaval to be honest.
    godnessgracious2

    True but a lot of people complaining live off of free money so to me they have no voice. They are already living off the working man.

  • ncouterbanks69 Jan 24, 9:36 a.m.

    It will be justice for those illegals here not paying any income tax at all. At least they will FINALLY have to contribute their share like the rest of us. That by itself makes it a good idea.

  • tomfoolery Jan 24, 9:35 a.m.

    Taxes in this state are too high as it is. I for one fully support scraping the income tax. I have lived in three different states that do not have state income taxes and in each case the economy flourished. I am a big believer in the flat tax, that way everyone pays their fair share...-- Enough is Enough People

    EXACTLY!!!

  • arfamr1007 Jan 24, 9:35 a.m.

    but the sales tax ensres a fair system where everyone pays their fair share...cmon libs, you should love this system

  • JoCo50 at MXR Jan 24, 9:34 a.m.

    "Art Pope's companies are downmarket retail stores. He doesn't want a sales tax increase because it impacts his bottom line."-bill15

    BINGO!!
    goldenosprey

    And pray tell, just how is an increase or decrease in the overall sales tax going to give Pope's stores a competitive advantage or disadvantage when every other store collects the identical same tax???

  • NYtoNC81 Jan 24, 9:32 a.m.

    Enough is Enough People: I have lived in three different states that do not have state income taxes and in each case the economy flourished.

    Me: What metric are you using to gauge economic strength?

    There are nine states that have no individual income tax (though five of them do have a corporate income tax) and they rank as follows in unemployment. I realize that is not the best indicator of economic strength but it gives you an idea:

    Alaska: 18th with a 6.6% UE rate
    Florida: 35th with a 8.0% UE rate
    Nevada: 50th (dead last) with a 10.2% UE rate
    New Hampshire: 14th with a 5.7% UE rate
    South Dakota: 3rd with a 4.4% UE rate
    Tennessee: 30th with a 7.6% UE rate
    Texas: 16th with a 6.1% UE rate Washington: 30th with a 7.6% UE rate

    Explain to me how there is any pattern of a "flourishing" economy given the above. I don't get it.

  • Unbroken Jan 24, 9:32 a.m.

    "It's more than just groceries, bud. You and I get to pay more for everything so the richest don't have to contribute as much anymore.
    godnessgracious2"

    godnessgracious2*

    Lol that was so unfair lol.. you used common sense to figure out this would be bad idea while showing a conservative troll their lies and fear mongering won't work on people that can think for themselves lol..

    Great post

  • davidgnews Jan 24, 9:29 a.m.

    Pope's right on this one - you have to account for dollar per dollar amounts and not just put a blind tax in place. You can't take any 'established' system, gut it, and change it overnight without creating a lot of problems.

    @goldensosprey - sales tax has nothing to do with anyone's bottom line - they are made to be 'agents of the state' in collecting sales tax. Reel it in a little, will you?

  • smdrn Jan 24, 9:28 a.m.

    I don't understand why people feel it's their business what other successful people, who work hard, make. Worry about yourselves. Those that make more money also spend more money. They can afford more expensive items which will bring in more sales tax. Remember this is just about the state tax. We will still have property taxes to pay.

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