by Becki Gray
Former Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation
Heard all that talk about tax cuts only for the rich? 80% of North Carolinians saw an increase in their taxes? Whaaaat? It’s been thoroughly debunked.
The tax reforms that began in 2011 with a roll-back of a sales tax increase (A $1B tax cut for anyone who buys stuff, by the way) and then in 2013 and 2015 with flattening and reduction of the income tax, corporate rate now lowest of any state that imposes a corporate rate, elimination of the death tax.
And an increase in the standard deduction. What is the standard deduction? That’s the amount of income we pay no (zero, nada, none, nothing) income tax on right off the bat. A better and less “tax geek-y” name for “standard deduction” is “zero tax bracket”, i.e. the amount that all North Carolina taxpayers pay ZERO taxes on.
What do the recent tax reforms do? Well, before tax year 2014, the NC zero tax bracket for most people was $3,000, $6,000, or $4,400 depending on your filing status. Since tax year 2014? The NC zero tax bracket has increased to $7,500, $15,000, or $12,000 depending on your filing status. The amount of income that we pay no taxes on has more than doubled. For everyone – no special treatment. But those who benefit most are folks in the lower income brackets because the percentage they don’t pay is a higher percentage of their entire income.
And in even better news, further tax reforms we may see in the 2016 short session, include increasing the zero tax brackets even more. Less taxes mean more money for hard working NC families to spend the way they want to. After all, haven’t we earned it?