Local Politics

Dealers Try to Put Brakes on Car Tax Increase

Posted July 4, 2007

— State lawmakers are scrambling to find ways to build roads, from toll roads to gas taxes. Now, car dealers statewide are fighting legislation that would increase the tax for all car and truck purchases.

Senate Bill 1201 would increase the tax on buying a new car or truck from 3 percent to 6.75 percent.

"That's something that's definitely going to be felt," said Tracey Vajay, who spent Independence Day looking at Chevy Tahoes with her husband, Jeff.

The tax bill on a new Tahoe would jump from around $1,000 to more than $2,300 if the bill becomes law.

The state Automobile Dealers Association launched a media campaign to kill the road revenue proposal. The "Stop The Car Tax" fliers and Web site are geared toward stirring consumer anger.

"I think it's sticking it to the consumer," said Richard Cholerton, sales manager at Bobby Murray Chevrolet in Raleigh. "Anytime you get into somebody's pocket, it hurts you, whether it hurts you as a consumer or us as a dealer."

The bill also would affect the trade value of a used car.

Consumers currently pay tax on the difference between their new car and trade-in. If someone were to buy a $25,000 car with a $5,000 trade, for example, that would create a $600 tax bill.

But under the proposed changes, the trade-in value wouldn't be factored, which would lead to a $1,687 tax bill for the same purchase and trade.

"Your payments are going up $20 to $40 a month. That's a big hit," Cholerton said.

The vehicle tax increase hasn't gotten much traction in the legislature. Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, remains the only sponsor of the bill.

But some consumers said they might be able to swallow the higher monthly car payments in exchange for better roads.

"It's always frustrating, but if we know what it's going towards, then it would make it a little bit easier," Jeff Vajay said.


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  • whatusay Jul 6, 2007

    New state motto: "the unwilling led by the incompetent to do the impossible".

  • mindyourown Jul 5, 2007

    This is rediculous!!!! Aren't WE taxed enough??? For one, NC tax for OFFROAD units and I repeat OFFROAD units was 6.75% (it's now 6.5% as of July 1st) and ONROAD or highway use sales tax is 3%, why in the world is being increased to match offroad units' tax?????????? If this is approved does this mean that our vehicle's property tax will be lowered???? Don't think so. How many fee's, taxes, surcharges etc are we paying now?? Our paychecks are taxed, then when we buy something it's taxed again, some things we pay tax on every year, what in the world is it coming too, when will the madness STOP?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!

  • enderby Jul 5, 2007

    More cost of growth being shoved down our throats.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jul 5, 2007

    Does anyone know if these companies get penalized for the mistakes that they make on road projects?

  • TheLogicalOne Jul 5, 2007

    Umm, what is the highway use tax for??

    The solution may be to stop using companies that make huge mistakes laying road surfaces (like in Durham) or who milk the state for labor hours. You cannot tell me that it really had to take 2 years to widen the section of Tryon Road between Lake Wheeler Road and Gorman Street.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jul 5, 2007

    Can't we just tax cigarettes and alcohol to death instead raising car and gas taxes. There has to be some other way. I have an idea, legalize prostitution, like in Nevada and tax it at 30%! Something has to give.

  • andtoto2 Jul 5, 2007

    as long as it takes to build a road around here, you wouldn't even get to drive your "new" car on whatever highway you helped fund

  • kevboom Jul 5, 2007

    "When are NC citizens going to get tired of a governor who has never said no to a tax hike and his liberal democratic buddies in the state legislature."

    When are NC citizens going to get tired of Republican presidents who blow national surpluses on corporate give-aways and unnecessary wars designed to make a few military contractors very rich? You wonder why the state can't afford to build a road, look at the dwindling federal reserves that have been diverted to the middle east. It's all too easy to blame "tax and spend liberals" who always get blamed for trying to fix economic problems when the real problems derive from policies of greed on the right. At least liberals "tax and spend" on our own people. Get used to more taxes at the local and state level. Didn't you hear? Some oil company got a tax break that would have paid for I-540 south. Too bad. Maybe you should vote for someone else next time.

  • wildervb Jul 5, 2007


    Of Course lights are cheaper, so would not building a highway at all.

    If the DOT is going to go through the trouble of creating a billion dollar new highway, they should at least create interchanges that don't require lights at all exits. The point of these highways is to make traffic flow more smoothly, not slow it down.

    Go to any other major city and look at how they build highway exits, the NC does it is pathetic.

  • Joy4u2 Jul 5, 2007

    I too am tired of tax's but as for the State Highway Patrole Officer who put there life on the line every day, and try to keep our highways save to drive on deserve every bit they get and no I'm not a offericer's wife, I just have a lot of respect for them and all law officer's