Editorial: Amid struggle, tax overhaul is welcomed

Jan. 01, 2014 @ 11:49 PM

When it comes to Tri-County residents getting paychecks or government checks, we make no apology in hoping employers are filling their pockets.

We have long groaned and bemoaned our sad situation when it comes to unemployment. Vance County has been in double figures unemployment percentage each month since posting 8.9 in December of 2008.

Pending county results to be announced on Tuesday for November and December’s figures about a month from now, that’s five solid, long years of tough sledding.

Vance County wasn’t always like this. We once were growing to the point our single high school needed relief. The mills were humming along, some industrial anchors liked our available work force and access via U.S. 1 and Interstate 85 and in some ways, we were better off than many rural counties.

Visitors were also frequent, and to some degree, still are through the lake in the backyard.

But our residents no longer are working as much as before. The numbers show it, and in some ways, don’t show it due to many who have simply left the search.

Half a decade is too long. We tremble at the thought of another half a decade without progress.

So a tax overhaul that we will rightfully admit is a huge risky gamble should have appeal, even for the 20,000-some Democrats of our county. Whether our political bread is buttered red or blue makes no difference in this proposition.

Our county has struggled and needs recovery in the most significant way so we all benefit. We need new employers, new life and we need our residents taking home paychecks and not government checks.

The tax overhaul law will give us more money week to week, but take away the earned income tax credit. It will make our state a more favorable landing point for businesses looking to start new, or even expand. And plenty of new businesses are always around the corner, particularly down at the Centennial Campus of N.C. State.

Lower unemployment is equal to more tax revenue overall, and public education can be a winner there as well.

The glass is halfway on this one. We’d like to drink from its fullness, and hope the tax overhaul kicking in this week pays dividends to us all.