I learned that Orange County's proposed sales tax increase from 7.75% to 8.00% would not hamper economic growth, but would in fact "spur economic development." What??? While the Daily Tar Heel's claim that the proposed tax increase would raise more revenue for the county is at best questionable, the claim that tax increases actually "spur economic development" is patently absurd. If you raise taxes, you increase the cost of doing whatever it is you are taxing (in this case buying things). If you make buying things more expensive, then people will do it less. When people buy less things that leads to economic contraction, not economic development.
In addition, there's the little tidbit that reveals what the "new revenue" will go towards. "According to County Manager Frank Clifton, about 58 percent of revenue from the tax increase will go to providing new technology for Orange County schools and enhancing the county's libraries and emergency services." Apparently the rest of the increase will go towards some mysterious "financial stipend" for local businesses. While the Daily Tar Heel fails to provide details, what this sounds like is some sort of local bailout for Orange County businesses, paid for by the residents of Orange County. If the last two years of bailouts are any indication, Orange County will probably want to continue this "financial stipend" indefinitely as their little stimulus program fails to produce any jobs, and we the happy taxpayers of Orange County will get to foot the bill for the subsidies bestowed on local businesses.
The closing line of the article is absolutely classic. "Orange County has been hit hard by the recession, and to recover, a reasonable increase in the sales tax is justified." I will refer the editorial staff of the Daily Tar Heel to Herbert Hoover. You can ask him how well tax increases in the middle of a recession work out.