Friday, August 26, 2005

Wake Up, Wake

In the wake of the lottery collapse, the North Carolina state legislature just allowed counties to hold a referendum in various counties on allowing them to raise the sales tax. Wake County, my home, decided to take part.

I hope this referendum dies a horrible, painful death. A sales tax is the absolute worst way to raise money since it is the ultimate regressive tax. A lottery would have been less regressive than this. I doubt I'll ever be on the same side as ultraconservative Apex representative Paul Stam on anything again, but I have to say he's right when he says "there has to be a fairer way."

I'm not sure what that fairer way would be, though. Property taxes? Income tax? Telethons? Anyone have any suggestions? The problem with my opposition to this referendum is that I don't have any better ideas for raising more money...


Pierce said...

I say make cigarette butts legal tender. That will have the dual benefit of increasing money available in the state, and driving one of N.C.'s favorite industries.

Who dares argue with my brilliant plan?

Mike said...

I was gonna say, and they called the lottery a regressive tax?

Pierce has a pretty good idea about the cigarette butts. Also, isn't the cigarette tax in NC one of the lowest in the country?

Anonymous said...

The fairest tax? That'd be no taxes at all.

No matter how hard you try, you can't make stealing "fair". It seems dumb to me to argue whether it's more fair to screw the poor, the middle class, or the rich.

- miguel

Andy said...

I wouldn't go so far as to say taxes are 'stealing'. Say what you want about waste, there are still some necessary components of government. As for raising money without raising taxes, you could always slash welfare. (That should get the left going.)

emily said...

My ideas? Luxury tax on automobiles that get less than 25 mpg on the highway. (Is 25 too generous?) Fines for all politicians whose campaign signs are still standing 60 days post election.

Mike said...

In fairness Miguel, Jeff never said anything about specifically using a tax to raise money, just about finding a fairer way.

That's the nice thing about taxes on things like cigarettes: they can't be construed as "stealing" because people don't have to pay them. Don't want to pay the cigarette tax? Don't smoke.

And Emily, my car gets 25 mpg on its best days and I drive a Saturn coupe. Can we specify SUVs and pickup trucks? Because as the driver of a small car, those big honking things drive me nuts.

Incidentally, I'm not familiar with North Carolina's economic situation. Is there a specific reason more money is needed?

Danielle said...

My car gets 40 mpg on the interstate. I love my little Corrolla.