New year means bigger sales tax bite in NC
Posted December 26, 2013
Updated December 27, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — While many North Carolinians might take home a little more of their paycheck next year, they will likely be spending more of it as well.
Lawmakers passed a major tax reform package in July that lowers state income tax rates while also eliminating some deductions and adding sales tax to some new items.
The changes mean that, starting Jan. 1, people will pay 6.75 percent sales tax on tickets to movies, concerts, college and professional sporting events and attractions such as Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh.
"My son loves it, so I'll pay it," Tiffany Barnes said Thursday of the added 35-cent tax on a $5 admission to Marbles.
Beth Carmichael and Martell Walker agreed that while the extra tax will add up, it won't stop them from going places like Marbles.
"A 35-cent hike, I think that people will notice that, but I will still bring (my family) because we only come one or two times a year," Carmichael said.
"Taxes are taxes, you know. If it's only going to be 35 cents, that's not bad," Walker said.
Elizabeth Negra, however, said adding sales tax to ticket prices is too much.
"I feel like they're already expensive enough, so why add taxes on it?" Negra said.
Other changes under the law add taxes to newspaper subscriptions – home delivery of The News & Observer in Raleigh will cost an extra $21 – and service and maintenance contracts for cars, computers and new appliances.
Lawmakers also ended the annual tax-free weekend for back-to-school shopping and eliminated tax rebates on energy-efficient appliances. Power bills will also be subject to sales tax, starting in July, but regulators are still working out how much of that increase will be passed on to consumers.
Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, who authored some of the tax changes, said the system needed to be updated. The economy now revolves around services and entertainment, but state sales taxes have applied only to goods, which is about one-third of what people buy.
"That means everything else is not sharing in helping the cost of government and putting lower tax rates back in the pockets of the people," Rucho said.