The Daily Tar Heel
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Sunday, June 16, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

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The Daily Tar Heel


The N.C. General Assembly, with Gov. McCrory’s help, has done one thing well recently — propose and pass terrible legislation.

In just a few months, they covered many conservative bases by repealing the Racial Justice Act, increasing abortion restrictions, loosening gun laws and proposing a voter ID bill.

Now, the legislature is hitting North Carolinians with a more mundane sucker punch: a “flattened” tax code.

The House and Senate compromise plan eliminates the established personal income tax structure in favor of a more regressive rate, reduces the rate on corporate income to a mere 3 percent by 2017 and eliminates important tax credits for low- and middle-income families.

These kinds of changes are commonly referred to as “flattening the tax code.” It sounds nice — flatten taxes to make everything fairer.

However, in reality, “flattening the tax code” means making rich people pay less and poor people pay more. According to the N.C. Justice Center, people with incomes of nearly $1 million would receive a tax cut of almost $10,000, while the bottom 80 percent would pay more on average.

“Flattened tax code” is a deceitful catchphrase like “pro-life,” “traditional families” or “school choice,” and it only tricks the electorate.

Behind this rhetoric lies ignorance, contempt and greed. The voters that allowed our state to enter its current free-fall have to right the course now, through public resistance, and in 2014 by marching to the ballot box with clear eyes.

Sean Langberg ’14
Global studies

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