LETTER: We can live without tax-free weekend

Aug. 06, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

It’s ironic that our local media and Democrats are crying foul over the “last tax-free weekend.” Dems salivate if they can take more of our money. Furthermore, it’s estimated that the state loses $13.5 million in sales taxes during this one-time event.

So let’s clear up “misconceptions” perpetrated by the im-“moral Monday” gang and the media.

1. We can’t live without it.

Well, if you don’t have a job, feeding the family and putting a roof over your head comes before saving taxes one weekend in August. Note: Lee County’s unemployment rate just went up (11.2%), not down.

2. Consumers save a lot!

No. Saving .07 cents on the dollar isn’t much. And in most cases, since the retailers knew you were going to come in because of this incentive, why bother putting merchandise on sale?

3. Taking away this incentive will hurt the poor and the children.

Really? Just for kicks, let’s pretend you stood in line to purchase a $450 computer. Multiply by 7%. You saved $31.50 in sales tax. Wow.

Now let’s pretend the Republican legislature does the right thing and creates a budget that will put more money in our pockets, like capping the gas tax, reducing state income tax on the top marginal rate to 5.25 percent from 7.75 percent, and creating a business climate that is friendly so we get more jobs in N.C. And in this new budget, they actually increase education spending to boot. Oh wait, they just did that!

Follow me here. Let’s do some more math:

Mr. Citizen, who was unemployed, gets a job due to the tax break for businesses. Now “Mr. Citizen” earns $60,000 a year and pays 7.75% in state income taxes. $60,000 x 7.75% = $4,650 due. Wow! N.C. makes money instead of spending it on the jobless.

But wait! With the new income tax rate, Mr. Citizen will bring home even more because $60,000 x 5.25% = $3,150. And if you take current tax, subtract the new tax due, $4650 - $3150, you get $1,500 savings.

I’ll take $1,500 back in the checkbook over a one-time savings of $31.50 any day! Just think what having more money in our pocketbooks every payday will do!

To sum this up — what’s really “immoral” is the fallacy that we can’t live without the “tax-free weekend.”

Sheila Barber

Sanford