by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I urge that you reject any and all efforts to raise taxes, especially at a time when the Palmetto State is great need of rate-reducing tax reform of the sort recently enacted in North Carolina. South Carolina’s existing tax code is uncompetitive, with rates that are too high. Fortunately, your counterparts in North Carolina have enacted a series of fiscal reforms that provide a model for how to do pro-growth, rate-reducing tax reform in a responsible manner.
The experience in North Carolina demonstrates just how much progress can be made in a short period of time. As recently as five years ago, North Carolina had higher personal and corporate income tax rates than those in South Carolina. Thanks to the enactment of rate-reducing tax reform in 2013 and 2015 based on revenue triggers, North Carolina now has the nation’s lowest corporate tax rate and the lowest state income tax rate in the region when not counting the zero income tax states of Tennessee and Florida.
North Carolina taxpayers received their latest in a series of income tax cuts on January 1st of this year, when another round of personal and corporate rate reductions took effect. North Carolina’s experience with tax reform demonstrates how it is possible to simultaneously provide relief for taxpayers, increase teacher pay, realize budget surpluses, and grow the state rainy day fund.