The News & Observer recently called my old boss, Jim Hunt, the closest thing North Carolina has to a “policy Pope.” (I assume they meant Benedict of Rome, not John and Art of Raleigh.)
Unfortunately, I’m afraid Pope Jim has taken on a tough crusade with tax reform.
The Institute for Emerging Issues that Governor Hunt leads at N.C. State University has put forward a sweeping tax reform plan for the state. The plan includes reducing the corporate income tax and personal income taxes for the highest-earning taxpayers – while extending the sales tax to a host of services.
Governor Easley immediately flinched. He invoked the barbershop test: How can you explain to your buddies at the barbershop that you’re going to tax them for haircuts and cut taxes for big businesses and wealthy taxpayers?
I’m just glad Governor Hunt didn’t assign me to sell this one when I was working for him.