The rich get richer

Published 9:09 am Thursday, June 4, 2009

From Manteo to Murphy and all points in-between, North Carolinians are feeling the pinch on their pocketbooks in the wake of an economic downturn that is sweeping the nation.

Businesses have been forced to lay-off thousands of workers, swelling the state’s unemployment rolls to levels not seen since the Great Depression.

Home sales are down…ditto for new vehicles.

County and municipal governments are feeling the economic strain as they prepare their 2009-10 budgets. Some are slashing jobs and services.

Public schools are also facing a shaky financial future. Some, Hertford County as one, have trimmed their staff, hopefully without interrupting the educational process.

Almost daily, the state, trying to balance a $3 billion shortfall, sends another unfunded mandate down to the local level.

As badly as the state needs money, why is it our elected leaders in Raleigh have authorized a special tax formula for an unnamed corporation, one reportedly seeking to expand its operations to the Tar Heel State.

And what a sweet deal it is.

The company, rumored to be Apple Computers, will receive a multimillion dollar tax break in return for investing $1 billion for its East Coast data warehouse. The breaks could be worth an estimated $46 million over 10 years.

This deal defies the state’s Constitution, which requires that taxes be levied in a uniform manner and that tax exemptions must also be uniform.

While a multi-billion dollar company stands to reap the rewards of a huge tax break, the citizens and small businesses of this state continue to suffer.