by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Writing for US News, Jared Walczak explains why North Carolina is a model for tax reform.
North Carolina’s overhaul of its tax code yielded the most dramatic improvement in the “State Business Tax Climate Index’s” history, with the state’s ranking improving from 41st to 11th since 2013. More significantly, it moved the state from a tax code that favored a few targeted industries to one that was open to all comers. Confounding naysayers, North Carolina has posted substantial budget surpluses three years in a row during a period when most states were grappling with budget shortfalls.
Mr. Walczak is correct. A pat on the back goes out to the fiscal reformers in the General Assembly and former Gov. Pat McCrory for methodical and reasoned tax reform that means North Carolinians are keeping more of what they earn. As Becki Gray explained in July following the approval of a new operating budget:
Taxes were cut again for the third consecutive budget cycle, about $3.6 billion over five years. That includes lower corporate and personal income rates, another increase in the zero tax bracket for families and a boost to businesses with changes to the franchise tax and mill machinery tax.