Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who Really Pays for Taxes in North Carolina

By Meg Gray Wiehe

Two workers arrive at the office at 8 am. By 8:34, one of the workers has earned enough money to pay his share of state and local taxes for the day. The other worker must keep going for another 17 minutes to earn enough to pay his share. The difference between these two workers is their income, but not in the way you make think.

In North Carolina today, it is the state’s poorest taxpayers who pay the highest share of their incomes in state and local taxes and the wealthiest taxpayers who pay the least.

State and local taxes pay for many of the things that keep North Carolinians safe and enhance their quality of life. These include physical structures like roads, jails, and school buildings, and services like health care, education, and restaurant inspections.

Because these investments benefit everyone, each North Carolinian should contribute an appropriate share of his or her income to pay for them. It should be a common goal that all North Carolinians pay similar shares of their incomes in state and local taxes. A good case can also be made that wealthier taxpayers should contribute a greater share of their incomes.


No comments: