Voters in several counties heading to the ballot box this election will have the power to approve or defeat an increased sales tax in their community.
According to TheTimesNews.com, “County governments are not bound to pass the measure even if voters approve the sales tax hike.” To date, every county has imposed the tax if given the power to do so by voters. The article states, “These votes are used as an advisory for county governments to consider when they vote whether to implement the quarter-cent sales tax hike…The commissioners opted not to designate what the additional $2 million in generated sales tax revenue annually would be used for, if the sales tax hike is approved.” Commissioner Tim Sutton, who voted against placing the issue on the November ballot, said he doesn’t believe voters will approve the hike.”
One would think any type of tax increase would be a hard sell right now. After a recently exposed state income tax refund debacle – residents not receiving their tax refunds from several years – it’s hard to imagine North Carolinians trusting government to manage more of their hard-earned money during this recession or any other year for that matter.
“The tax collections department also had been forced to delay tax refunds the past two years because of cash flow problems within state government. More than 300,000 refunds valued at $222 million hadn’t been distributed this year, nearly a month and a half after the April 15 filing deadline.”
During the 2009 long session, the General Assembly increased the statewide sales tax by 1 percent. It was 4.45 percent until Oct. 2009; it then increased to 5.75 percent statewide with most places offering a 2 percent local sales tax match totaling 7.75 percent. With people making cuts in their personal budgets, nothing is stopping Tar Heel residents from purchasing items elsewhere. Tax Free weekends are popular for a reason.
For a state that is ranked 8th in the nation in its sales tax rate, it should not be a surprise that certain online vendors currently not being taxed are popular. Maybe this is the rare case where reduce, reuse and recycle actually makes economic sense. It might be best to purchase your vintage sports gear at yard sales.