Monday, April 23, 2007

Misrepresenting the transfer tax debate

Many legislative issues are too complicated for quick poll questions. Some need more explanation and I think the transfer tax is one of those issues. While the smoking ban, for example, is self-explanatory.

The transfer tax is not simply one more tax to give the government more of your money. The unfortunate reality in many counties is that tax revenue is not keeping up with the costs of building schools and roads. The transfer tax proposal is a way to give local governments another stream of revenue so that they don’t have to hike property taxes…again.

If you simply ask do you support a new tax to raise revenue, without explaining what the money is for or in the case of the transfer tax how this will save you from more property taxes, of course people are going to be against it! That’s pretty much exactly what Elon did:

“As you are likely aware, there are some proposals being considered for raising revenue for North Carolina local governments . . . one way to do this is using a county land transfer tax, also called a real estate transfer tax . . . just so I'm clear a land transfer tax is a tax charged when someone buys or sells property… Would you support or oppose the land transfer tax?”

The transfer tax is not raising revenue for the sake of revenue. It's proposed because there is a need for more money for infrastructure like schools and property taxes are being raised too much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Insightful. many public policy debates get shorted because some poll has set the terms of the debate. way to examine the context

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