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Lawmaker Wants to Double Tax on New Auto Purchases

Posted April 2, 2007

— When Lisa Camper bought a new, red Ford Fusion in Raleigh Monday, she knew she would also pay a state highway use tax of 3 percent. The suggestion of more than doubling that tax made her see red.

"I think it's ridiculous, because we get taxed at every turn,” Camper said.

A Charlotte lawmaker is proposing to drive up the 3 percent tax on new car purchases to 6.75 percent. Sen. Daniel G. Clodfelter said that would pump some $900 million each year into road construction.

North Carolina has an ever-growing list of highway needs, but paying for them all has legislators stalled. Road projects have suffered because transportation revenues haven’t gone up at the same rate at which the state has grown.

On a new $20,000 car, the current tax runs about $600. Under the Charlotte Democrat's proposal, that amount would jump to $1,350.

The intent of the bill is to bring the tax in line with the state's general sales tax, which is 6.75 percent.

WRAL attempted to reach Clodfelter on Monday, but was unsuccessful. He is the only known supporter of the bill.

"That's probably going to affect sales somewhat,” said Eric Kaplan, the sales manager at Crossroads Ford in Raleigh.

Kaplan said he’s especially troubled by a provision in Senate Bill 1201 that would wipe out the trade-in deductions.

"Now, you only pay taxes on the difference between the one you buy and the one you trade in. If you do away with that, that's significant," he said.

Kaplan said he recognizes the need for more road dollars. He says new car sales haven't been so shiny this year, however, and a new tax would make a far greater dent.

"I don't know if some people, because of that, will decide to go to other places, other states to buy,” he said. “I mean, they could."

Camper, with her new car, said she sees better ways to raise the funds that wouldn’t come out of her pocket.

"If they cracked down on the contractors they hire to do the road improvements, and (encourage them) not to drag their feet, we'd save a bunch of money right there,” Camper said.

The possible tax hike made the purchase of the Fusion look much more attractive to Camper.

“We’d better buy it before they go up in tax,” she said.


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  • Gunk Apr 19, 2007

    If these legislators of ours would stop robbing the highway fund and putting it in the general fund each year taxes wouldn't have to be raised.

  • Chuckster Apr 12, 2007

    The Democrats mind set cannot possibly think of any way of paying for something without raising taxes. The first and only thing that enters their heads is MORE TAXES! One way of keeping up with the need for more road funds is to select contractors who are not necessarily the lowest bidders but who will get the job done without a 'redo' ala I440. There are, of course, many other ways including eliminating pork barrel spending.

  • Joy4u2 Apr 4, 2007

    Democrats are in there and there are going to keep on tearing us up. They want to raise car insurance. don't know if he got it or not. Mr Long. hope not just another way to get money. Going for another school bond the heck with that, quit having babie's or illagel one's we pay for. tired of being taxed to death. look at your food bill when you go to the grocery store and see what you pay in taxe's. its sicking.

  • lrmerc5757 Apr 4, 2007

    Do the only thing you can do. Fire him

  • knelsud92 Apr 3, 2007

    gman, I now live in Charlotte. Clodfelter will not get beat. His district is so gerrymandered that a Republican will not run against him. It's almost too bad that my precinct borders on his district. I'd run against this tool.

  • 2little2late Apr 3, 2007

    RE:"FYI, most states DON'T have..."..but most states do have a sales tax on vehicles....it can be called whatever, but it's payable sometime around when you buy/register your car...i agree that gov shouldn't take the money though...i don't like it either

  • nursevb8 Apr 3, 2007

    Gatsby, thaat is a new idea. But I agree with Lisa Camper, hire people who work. I watched the "workers" stand around often during the 540 work. Too many people standing around getting paid. NC is taxed to death. I pay school taxes, and don't have a child in school. I pay taxes on my car, for a new sticker and an inspection sticker EVERY year. Then I pay one of the highest gas taxes. Just cut off my arm or leg too

  • knelsud92 Apr 3, 2007

    2little, I'm just pointing out facts. It's still $20/month, $240/year that could go to other things. Regardless of how it's spent, it's spent on things people CHOOSE to spend it on, NOT forcibly taken out of someone's pocket by the government. Incrementalism is how this stuff started in the first place.

    FYI, most states DON'T have a Highway Use Tax, or Property Tax on vehicles. A lot of states have higher registration fees, though.

  • Gatsby Apr 3, 2007

    I wish they would put a 40% tax on new car sales and drop the gas tax. If you are foolish enough to drop $25000+ on a new car you will never blink at being taxed to death.

  • gman976 Apr 3, 2007

    Someone should look into putting an organization together to ensure this guy doesn't get re-elected. Send them the message "if you rape us we will fire you, and the folks you promised the money to can not save you from this fate".