North Carolina taxpayers received some good news yesterday.
With 98 of 100 counties reporting, North Carolinians approved a constitutional amendment to reduce the maximum allowable income tax rate in North Carolina from 10 percent to 7 percent.
The amendment does not change the current individual income tax rate of 5.499% but limits how high the state can increase income tax rates.
Out of nearly 3.6 million votes cast, voters approved the measure by a margin of 57 to 43 percent. Amendment supporters won majorities in all 100 counties but twelve. Numerous counties along the coast and in Western part of the state recorded percentage majorities in the high-sixties and low seventies including Onslow County, 69.7%; Union County,70.9%, and Wilkes County, 73.3%.
The strongest opposition to the tax cap amendment was focused in the Triangle, a smattering of western counties and several counties in northeast North Carolina. Counties with the highest percentages opposing the amendment include: Durham County, 73%; Orange County, 73%; Buncombe County, 59% and Chatham County, 57%. Voters in Wake County opposed the measure by a margin of 55% to 45%.
Opponents said the amendment would tie the hands of state government in a crisis and adversely impact public schools. Advocates declared the amendment forces government to prioritize – something it has been unwilling to do; and sends a strong signal to taxpayers and businesses.
The tax cap amendment was one of six amendments on yesterday’s ballot. Voters approved four of the six amendments including requiring photo ID to vote, strengthening victim’s rights and protecting the right to hunt and fish.
Lawmakers return to Raleigh at the end of November to consider implementing legislation for the new amendments.