Keep it coming: Taxpayers feed spending frenzy

06/13/2005
The Free Press

Politicians get addicted to spending taxpayers' money. They don't want to let go. A prime example occurred this past week when the N.C. House of Representatives voted to extend two tax increases that were initiated in 2001 - the extra half-cent sales tax and the surcharge on the highest income tax category.

In 2001, state officials told North Carolina taxpayers that these increases were temporary, that the taxes would come off in two years.

Two years rolled around and, in 2003, lawmakers voted to extend the "temporary" taxes for two more years.

Those taxes are scheduled to expire at the end of this month.

The House vote, which went along party lines, would continue those "temporary" tax increases for two more years. If the proposal makes it into law, the tax increases would be scheduled to sunset on June 30, 2007.

Does anybody want to guess what will happen two years from now?

Legislators want to continue the tax increases despite reports from the N.C. Department of Revenue that tax collections for the current fiscal year are more than $400 million more than what had been anticipated.

Unfortunately, lawmakers don't want to stop at merely extending the "temporary" taxes. They want to increase other taxes, too.

The House bill calls for increasing the tax on cable and satellite TV service, taxing satellite radio service and subjecting warranties and service contracts to a sales tax. They even want to levy a tax on candy.

All this is so that politicians can feed their spending frenzy.

Lawmakers refuse to do the work required to take a good, hard look at the budgets of all state departments and eliminate the waste, duplication and pork-barrel programs that could save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and reduce the need for the continued extension of tax increases.

Instead, they'd rather keep their pet programs intact and increase spending to the tune of about $1 billion a year.

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