Analysts to discuss tax reform, impacts on economic development tonight

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Plans to overhaul North Carolina’s tax code, and what it all might mean for regional economic development, will come to focus for a “frank and open discussion” tonight in Wilmington.

The Cape Fear Economic Development Council (CFEDC) has booked Allan Freyer and Alexandra Sirota, respectively policy analyst and director of the N.C. Budget and Tax Center, for the talk scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. in the WHQR Gallery, 254 N. Front St. downtown.

“How do the various reform proposals you have heard about in the news relate to our efforts at regional economic development?” poses the announcement from CFEDC, a nonprofit focused on sustainable economic development in the Cape Fear region.

Proposals have, generally, included broadening the state’s tax base to involve sales taxes on myriad services, like haircuts and legal work, while lowering corporate and individual income taxes.

“Taking the question to an extreme, if we were to completely eliminate taxes in N.C., would we attract more business or could we destroy the conditions that make N.C. a great place to do business?” questions the announcement about tonight’s talk.

Supportive officials and some policy groups have said lowering or eliminating the state’s income taxes will make North Carolina a more desirable place to do business, thus to lead to an improved economy and job opportunity.

Opponents have called the approach unfair, raising costs on services that struggling families need while cutting costs for wealthy individuals and corporations.

“Most would agree that some balance needs to be found,” says CFEDC’s announcement of the discussion, adding the nonprofit “believes that our community needs more frank and open discussion of the potential implications of tax reform proposals for economic development.”

Freyer and Sirota, it adds, will “provide their insight on the many and varied proposals before the legislature, their relationship to local and regional tax issues and their implications for economic development.”

The N.C. Budget and Tax Center, often described by observers as left-leaning, is billed as a nonpartisan research and analysis group that works to inform North Carolinians about pending budget and tax matters and their potential impacts “with an eye to ensuring that economic opportunity is expanded for all.”

More information about the group is available here.

Click here for more about CFEDC.