North Carolina is the bellwether for tax reform — we can learn a lot from them

North Carolina is the bellwether for tax reform — we can learn a lot from them

The American people deserve comprehensive tax relief.

As President Donald Trump and the United States Congress finalize the details of their tax reform proposals, they need look no further than North Carolina as the bellwether for pro-growth policies to accelerate the nation’s economy rooted in tax relief.

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Successful tax reform at the federal level will require the same long-term commitment to meaningful relief and structural improvements that worked in the Old North State.

What the American public needs is an evolution in pro-growth tax policies under constant review and necessary iterations that improve the national economy for the long-term.

North Carolina’s successful tax reform began in 2011, and we continue to make smart iterations to this day. Our first significant step in providing tax relief to all North Carolinians was to reduce the state sales tax, which saved our citizens billions of dollars. Next, in 2013, we raised our standard deduction and lowered tax rates, personal and corporate. We set automatic, responsible triggers to continue reducing the rate based on state revenues. These triggers have helped lower the rates in 2015, 2016, and will do so again 2019.

The approach of steadily increasing the standard deduction, while responsibly and gradually lowering tax rates has helped all North Carolinians, low-income and middle-class taxpayers, save a higher percentage of their earnings. We believed that people should be able to keep more of their hard-earned money.

While there is more than enough rhetoric about “helping the middle-class” to go around, North Carolina has put it to practice by tripling the standard deduction, so middle-class families have more money to spend for their needs and save for their future.

This approach is especially meaningful for the low-income families that could now face zero state tax burden. By 2019, an estimated 1.5 million of these working North Carolinians will not pay any state income taxes because we have made a more substantial tax deduction available to families.

Under our leadership, North Carolina citizens, families, small businesses and large corporations keep more of their money, leading to economic expansion, hiring and better wages.

Not only did our efforts return more money to taxpayers, they also spurred our economy to be one of the fastest growing in the nation.

The numbers show our approach is working.

The U.S. Census Bureau ranked North Carolina fourth for wage growth in 2016, and our October unemployment rate was a 17-year low 4.1 percent. 

We maintain an AAA score from all three bond rating agencies and are one of sixteen states prepared for an economic recession, according to Moody’s Analytics.

North Carolina now has a record $1.8 billion in our rainy day reserve, preparing our state in case an economic downturn or natural disaster hits.

If it works in a large state like North Carolina, Congress can use these same guiding principles to enact long-term tax relief that helps families and businesses and grows the national economy with a balanced approach.

We strongly encourage Congress to adhere to the cornerstones of fair tax treatment and responsible spending, as we did in North Carolina. Our taxpayers are treated equally with a simple, straightforward system that resulted in robust economic expansion.

Tax relief is about protecting hard-earned paychecks and empowering all families in the workforce to succeed together in the entrepreneurial spirit of the United States. It’s about helping everyday people provide themselves a higher quality of life and build opportunities without an excessive burden on their bottom line.

Again, for Congress and President TrumpDonald John TrumpClinton takes swipe at 'false equivalency' in media coverage of 2016 election Trump asked Netanyahu if he actually cares about peace: report Official: Trump to urge North Korea to dismantle nuclear program in return for sanctions relief MORE to realize the full potential of the American economy, North Carolina is the bellwether state when it comes to tax reform.

Tim Moore is the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives where he serves Cleveland County.