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Good morning!

This is the weekly DKos Asheville open thread where we try to get together every Saturday morning around eleven, and then drift in and out throughout the day. We hope this group serves to reinvigorate us locally and regionally here on Daily Kos, building on the sense of community that's grown through our online engagement. DKos Asheville can give us all a better sense of connection, a better understanding of who these people are that we stand with, work with, and share with in the political process. We hope, through this community, that we can do a better job of leveraging our orange passion for progressive politics to help elect more and better Democrats.

If you would like to host a weekly open thread, please let us know.

We have set a date of Saturday, July 20, for the next meetup, with a start time of 1:00 or so; and we'll be at the Bywater once again.  So, use the comment section for planning and for any questions you might have.

As mentioned on the front page yesterday, there are three tax reform bills currently under consideration by our state representatives in Raleigh.  According to the News & Observer, the governor supports two of them; so it seems likely that significant changes to North Carolina income and sales tax laws will be passed this month.

Two of the three plans will significantly reduce tax revenue to the state; the third is said to result in no change to overall net revenue.  Thus it also appears there's a good chance that as a result of the new tax laws, there will be a subsequent cut in services.

In all three plans the big winners will be upper income individuals and businesses.  Currently our individual income tax rates are somewhat "progressive" in that higher income individuals pay a higher rate than low income individuals.  You can see the current rates here; but essentially there are three rates - 6%, 7%, and 7 3/4%.  In all three plans, the tiered progressive structure would be eliminated, replaced by a "regressive" single rate.  All three plans would also significantly reduce the corporate income tax rate.

Also under consideration are the elimination of deductions for mortgage interest and social security income.

All three plans would slightly reduce the sales tax rate, but would extend sales tax to services currently exempted.  One of the plans proposes increasing the sales tax on food to match the full tax rate.

It appears that we will probably have significant changes in our income and sales tax laws, if the Republicans can come to an agreement among themselves.  And it looks to me that low income people won't benefit much at all, and may even be made to assume more of a burden.  Middle income people may see their tax rate go down, but changes to mortgage interest and social security income deductions, and taxes on food and services, could offset that rate reduction.  A significant reduction to state revenues will hurt everyone, low and middle income alike.

The big winners will be the wealthy; a huge cut in their income tax.

Just more evidence of the damage being done to our state as a result of the last two elections, and of the importance each upcoming election holds.

* * *
Let us know what you're doing; if there's any events around the area that you think we might be interested in, if there's something interesting going on in your garden, if you found a really cool hiking trail or waterfall, or whatever you wish to share.

And enjoy your Saturday!

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