Carolina Journal Weekly Report

August 31, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of August 31, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s so-called “Amazon tax” fails on all counts and deserves to be repealed when state lawmakers return to work next year. That’s the conclusion of a new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.

“The Amazon tax generates confusion by creating three tiers of sales tax collection, imposes a new regulatory burden, and reduces economic activity by dissuading business relationships in the state,” said report author Fergus Hodgson, JLF Director of Fiscal Policy Studies. “In addition to these problems, there is also no evidence that the tax is increasing state government revenues.”

North Carolina is one of just nine states that impose an Amazon tax. It forces out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on online sales if the retailer has an online affiliate located in the taxing state. Affiliates include online advertisers, bloggers, or marketers based in North Carolina that receive a commission on sales.

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that untaxed online sales cost North Carolina $436.5 million in forgone tax revenue in the 2012 budget year.

“The trend of individuals toward buying online, avoiding state sales taxes in the process, has many legislators concerned, and in a bipartisan manner,” Hodgson said. “But even if one wished to maintain the sales tax rate and base, as online activity erodes it, there does not appear to be a mitigating policy that could originate from the North Carolina legislature.”

News Features

CJ: State wrestles with Medicaid costs, solutions
RALEIGH — As North Carolina continues to shift most of its Medicaid recipients into its showcase Community Care of North Carolina program, some say the centralized system needs free-market reforms to avoid chronic and costly budget overruns.

CJ: Education administrator claims at variance with class-size research
RALEIGH — North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson is traveling across the Tar Heel State to educate voters about the relationship between smaller class sizes and improved student performance.

CJ: Paleo-diet blogger expects to lose first round of free speech lawsuit
RALEIGH — A federal judge said a Charlotte-area man advocating a Paleolithic or “caveman” diet on his blog is “unlikely to succeed” in his claim that the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition has violated his freedom of speech.

CJ: Developer claims K’ville condemnation would benefit private hospital
KERNERSVILLE — Could condemnation under eminent domain increase the value of land? That’s the argument the attorney for a Kernersville property developer is making. Only problem is it’s not his client’s land that would become more valuable. Someone else’s land would increase in value.

Dalton, McCrory still defining campaign issues
GREENSBORO — The gubernatorial campaigns of Walter Dalton and Pat McCrory are both works in progress when it comes to some of their biggest policy initiatives. Dalton, a Democrat and the current lieutenant governor, wants to significantly increase funding for education at a number of levels.

Upcoming Events

Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
A Living History Event
with our special guests Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
Jefferson and Adams: A Debate on the Future of the United States of America

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
Election Preview 2012
with our special guests Byron York, Brad Crone, Marc Rotterman, and John Hood
What to Expect in the 2012 Election

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

We’ve got to hit our ground game. We’ve got to get the vote out. We’ve got to go back and do our job in North Carolina.
— House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, talking to the Winston-Salem Journal at the Republican National Convention about the coming campaign.

We need North Carolina. And we have preached that all across North Carolina.
Wayne King, the vice chairman of the Republican Party in North Carolina, as quoted by the Asheville Citizen-Times, describing the importance of North Carolina in the presidential campaign.

It does allow us a platform where we can talk about this on a national level.
Keith Ludlum, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1208 in Tar Heel, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about the importance of the Democratic National Convention in raising union awareness in the South.

The college depended on our department chair and our manager to do their jobs and do them with integrity. It didn’t happen.
Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, talking about the academic scandal at the school.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s John Hood analyzes the race for a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court; Steve Milloy of talks about EPA experiments with air pollutants; legislators react to comments by state Auditor Beth Wood about recouping overpayments of unemployment benefits; Warren Bingham discusses Washington’s Southern tour of 1791; and Carolina Journal’s Rick Henderson updates two cases of state government overreach.

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell for another week of political discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: Today’s General Assembly and a tribute to former Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight. . This week’s panelists: Becki Gray from the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former House Speaker Joe Mavretic; and political consultant Jeanne Bonds.


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