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Advocacy groups line up on opposite sides for tax reform

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TWC News: Advocacy groups line up on opposite sides for tax reform
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RALEIGH — Advocacy groups are getting creative getting their message out on tax reform.

Conservatives are saying a complete overhaul is needed, and left-leaning groups are saying the changes should be fair to all tax payers.

The NC Justice Center along with the AFL-CIO joined forces to introduce the so-called battle between good and evil. The battle may be a bit tongue and cheek, with luchadora fighters standing in for the battle, but the message is a serious one.

These groups say plans by lawmakers to overhaul the state's tax system are heading in the wrong direction.

“So its clear that tax reform is necessary. But all too often you are hearing bad plans for tax reform,” said Allan Freyer with the NC Justice Center.

These groups acknowledge there are too many loopholes and exemptions in the current North Carolina tax code, but say the entire code is not broken.

“And some reforms make this even worse. We have heard some proposals eliminating the corporate income tax, eliminating the personal income tax and shifting the burden to low income North Carolinians,” said Freyer.

Republican leaders have not presented an actual tax reform plan yet. There are currently two bills in the Senate. One bill is sponsored by Sen. Andrew Brock which changes the franchise tax code and one by Democrat, and former finance chair Dan Clodfelter which lowers income taxes and broadens the base.

“While Senator Clodfelter's bill moves in the right direction, we say it doesn't move far enough,” said Francis Deluca with the NC Civitas Institute.

It isn't far enough because Deluca said there is not enough reduction in the plans already proposed.

“We think the best recipe would be to reduce personal income taxes corporate income taxes and reduce taxes on businesses and you still have to have a tax base. So spread the base out to tax consumption,” said Deluca.

But others say deeper cuts could end up hurting the lower income sector of society.

“At the end of the day we want to make sure that we have a fair fight and fair taxation here in North Carolina.” said Freyer.

The advocacy groups say they will bring their so-called battle of the Lucha-Doras to the legislature on April 15. ClientIP: UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP