Most Tax Hikes on Nov. Ballot Defeated

Date: November 29, 2016

North Carolinians vote to continue the comeback.

Most Tax Hikes on Nov. Ballot Defeated

The final outcome of the
governor’s race may still be up in the air, but voters were clear about one
thing on Nov. 8: No tax hikes.

In 17 counties, tax-increase
referenda appeared on county ballots, giving voters the choice to approve or
deny proposed hikes to local sales or property taxes. In two cases, voters said
yes: a supplemental property tax for schools in Halifax County and a half-cent
sales tax increase for public transportation in Wake County. But in all other
cases, North Carolinians voted down the proposed increases (raising the sales
tax a quarter-point in 14 counties and a supplemental property tax for school
construction in Gates County).

 In a column published by multiple publications,
John Hood, chairman of the John Locke Foundation, also noted that this issue
went deeper than just the county proposals: “The races for president, governor,
lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate and state legislature all featured lots of
advertising, debate and media coverage about the issue. … In dozens of state
house and senate races, Democratic challengers attacked Republican incumbents
for slashing taxes too much over the last six years, and promised to rescind at
least some of the tax cuts to pay for more state spending on education, health
care or unemployment benefits. In the vast majority of contested races, North
Carolinians opted for the candidate least likely to raise their taxes, or most
likely to cut them.”

If Roy Cooper does prevail over
Gov. McCrory, his campaign trail rhetoric seems to be in line with the wishes
of the voters. Hood wrote, “Roy Cooper did not promise to rescind any of
McCrory’s cuts in personal, corporate or payroll taxes. Indeed, he pointedly
refused to endorse any increase in state tax rates, even when asked repeatedly
about the question by debate moderators and reporters.”

When legislators begin session in
January, they’ll have renewed marching orders to proceed without tax increases.

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