Editorial: State's ugly overhaul has nasty local effects

Jun. 21, 2013 @ 01:19 AM

All the talk among legislative leaders in Raleigh is about tax cuts.

All the headlines locally translate to job cuts.

The tax cuts proposed in Raleigh would put a few dollars a month, at most, back in the average middle-class worker’s pocket.

But they may reduce Lenoir’s revenue enough to make the city cancel plans to repave roads. Whoever works at that paving company will come out on the short end, and whoever drives those roads will see them only get worse.

Local governments across the state will put spending plans on hold and look for ways to cope with cuts that are being forced on them by the state. Delayed purchases is economic activity postponed, which is less work for contractors and the sales people involved.

Some government and college employees will lose jobs.

Longtime economic-development organizations across the state would be cut off while the state starts a new organizational structure from scratch.

A year down the road, all local governments may be looking at either more layoffs or increasing their property tax rates.

The problem with “creative destruction” is it involves destruction. It may be that 10 years from now, everyone will look back and say that hammering out a massive overhaul of the state’s tax structure and economic-development efforts in a matter of a few weeks has had a positive effect. It will be very hard to believe it couldn’t have been better if it had been done with more thought, planning and care.