An amendment to the North Carolina Constitution to lower the cap on the income tax rate to 7 percent will be on the ballot this November.
The amendment originally passed the Senate in 2017 and proposed lowering the rate to 5.5 percent. The House took up the measure this week, changing the cap to 7 percent in their version of the bill.
On Thursday afternoon, the Senate voted to concur to the 7 percent cap, despite initial pushback. The Senate voted 33-14 mostly along party lines. Republicans Tamara Barringer (Wake) and Tommy Tucker (Union) voted against the measure, while Democrats Ben Clark (Cumberland) and Joel Ford (Mecklenburg) supported it.
A June 2018 Civitas Poll found that the 5.5 percent cap was supported by a majority of respondents across every major demographic category.
There are many reasons to lower the income tax rate. Placing limits on government power helps to guard taxpayers against overreach and abuse. Additionally, North Carolina is not the only state to cap their income tax level; Georgia passed a similar amendment in 2014 with a 6 percent cap.
While the original 5.5 percent proposal would have gone further to protect taxpayers, lowering the income tax cap to 7 percent is a step in the right direction. North Carolinians will now have the chance to decide on the measure for themselves in November.