Taxes

Photo of corner of Trust and Belief from News and Observer's Contracted to Cheat series.
TRAVIS LONG — tlong@newsobserver.com

A yearlong investigative report by The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer documents that North Carolina has lost nearly a half-billion dollars each year uncollected state and federal tax revenue from the misclassification of workers. 

Photo: A tobacco warehouse in Durham
Flickr

While General Assembly leaders are in the final stages of sending Gov. Pat McCrory a state budget, they're rushing to wrap up bills on taxes and economic development.

Republican and Democratic representatives grilled Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker on Wednesday, asking why the governor wants to create  a $20 million "closing fund" to bring business to North Carolina.

Photo: A sylo at a farm in Swannaona, NC
Flickr

North Carolina House and Senate leaders say they've finalized details for public school teacher pay raises and the state's budget, but lawmakers are rushing to tackle other issues ranging from sales taxes to farm pollution.

The Senate has already given its approval for the North Carolina Farm Act, and the House is giving it a closer look in its agriculture committee yesterday and its finance committee today.

Walmart via Flickr

A North Carolina Senate committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on a measure that would restrict how much counties can raise their sales taxes and what they can spend the revenue on.

The Senate finance committee approved last week a bill that would allow counties to raise their sales taxes by a half-percent -- and to use the new revenue for either schools or for transportation costs.

Promotional trailers: Homeland, Ironman 3, Hunger Games
Showtime, Marvel Studios, Lionsgate

North Carolina could see fewer hits like Iron Man 3 or Homeland filmed in the state. That’s because tax incentives that encourage the film industry to make movies here are set to expire in January. Some lawmakers are trying to pass a measure that would give grants to the film industry to keep production companies here. But while budget negotiations are underway, time is running out to pass legislation.

A Carlie C's grocery store parking lot
Charlie C's

Some North Carolina lawmakers want to limit a tax cities can charge local businesses.

State lawmakers have been trying to resolve this for more than 10 years: A tax that businesses have to pay cities to set up shop there.

On Thursday, a committee sent a bill to the House of Representatives limiting the tax to $100.

But some cities say that cuts an important source of revenue. Charlotte, for instance, would lose more than $8 million.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Fayetteville's city leaders are considering a property tax hike to fight crime. 

Officials say the proposed budget would raise taxes an average of $60 per year on a $150,000 house. 

Mayor Nat Robertson said the money would be used to put more officers on the street. 

“Our chief of police has asked us for 67 new employees,” Robertson said. “That includes 50-some-odd credentialed employees and support staff for them.”

Robertson stressed the spending plan is just a proposal, so far. 

Manufactured Home
Royal Homes in Raleigh

Mobile and modular homes have traditionally been a top choice for lower-income home buyers.  But the New Year has brought higher taxes for these properties.

The sales tax will jump about two-fold for those buying a modular home.   Sonny Bannister is president of Royal Homes in Raleigh.

"We've been aware of the pending increase for about 90 days and we've been warning our customers of the potential of an increase since that time," said Bannister.

wake bus
Dave DeWitt

The Wake County Republican Party is opposing bond referendums for Raleigh transportation and public school construction projects. 

Voters will decide in October whether to approve $75 million in improvements to sidewalks and roads as well as traffic calming projects in Raleigh.  The Wake GOP executive committee says it voted to oppose that bond due to the city's accumulating debt. 

Lenovo Manufacturing
State of North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed major tax reform legislation into law this week, keeping one of his most ardent campaign promises. 

The governor and his conservative Republican base have consistently said North Carolina would be better able to attract business to the state with lower taxes.

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