Collector: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Scrooge: Are there no prisons?
Collector: Plenty of prisons.
Scrooge: And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?
Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Scrooge: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.
— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843
In your August 1, 2013, edition, in a story entitled “Upcoming tax-free weekend to be one of the last in N.C.,” Senator Jim Davis is quoted regarding the state’s termination of the tax-free weekend. “This is one of the ways we are trying to make the tax code in North Carolina simpler… [w]e’re just closing another loop-hole.” A loophole? Allowing parents to save 6.75 percent off school supplies for three days out of an entire year is a “loophole?”
Senator Davis, I’m a Republican and I voted for you but loopholes are what the Fortune 100 use to escape 10’s or 100’s of millions of dollars in federal and state tax liability for an entire year. Not parents saving, what, maybe $2.03 on a new $30 back pack over a three-day period in August for their new third grader to take to elementary school? That’s not a “loophole.” It’s a table scrap. When I read your praise of the termination of this “loophole” used by these greedy parents, in essence, stealing from the state treasury, I immediately thought of two literary figures that would appreciate your attitude: Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge. The only thing this “loophole closure” will accomplish is that next year Macon County’s parents will spend their back-to-school dollars in Clayton during Georgia’s tax free weekend and Macon County businesses will lose all that revenue; including the state’s 6.75 percent.
While I’m a Republican, I’m not an “Ebenezer Republican,” and closing off this “loophole” is not going to solve any budget crisis. It’s just plain mean.
Rich Cassady, Esquire — Franklin, N.C.