State revenues: Most popular proposals for increases are wrong
Once again, the North Carolina General Assembly convenes amidst predictions of a great “shortfall” in state money.
And, once again, there is talk of raising taxes — or at least continuing some taxes that were supposed to be temporary. There is even talk of a new “temporary” tax.
And, yet again, some politicians in Raleigh are talking up a state lottery.
Three things that the General Assembly should not do to balance the budget are:
1. Raise taxes or continue taxes that were supposed to be temporary.
2. Levy a new “temporary” tax.
3. Institute a state lottery or order a public referendum on it.
Our taxes are far too high already. If we cannot run the state government on the revenue sources that it has, then we need to cut back.
There is waste that could be trimmed. There are agencies and programs that could be operated more efficiently. To extend a tax that was levied as a temporary measure is to break faith with the public.
Naturally, some people, including Gov. Mike Easley, are looking to a lottery as the magic wand to provide supposedly needed money for the state government. Even if a majority of people would approve of it, however, it would not be proper for the state to operate a gambling monopoly that is rigged to beat the players .
Published in Editorials on January 31, 2005 11:21 AM