There seems to be quite a bit of confusion among the public regarding just how the new income tax surcharge that is included in the soon to be revealed budget agreement will be applied. Much of the confusion can be traced directly to WRAL’s varied and often inaccurate reporting of the tax surcharge.
Reporter Bruce Mildwurf got it correct on Friday when he accurately stated that in addition to taxing all businesses regardless of profitability:
The surcharge would be calculated on total tax liability, including withholding taxes that have been paid throughout the year and any quarterly estimated tax payments that have been made.
Confusion comes when a story posted this morning on WRAL by reporter Erin Coleman contradicts Mildwurf’s story by (incorrectly) saying:
It would impose a surcharge on those who don’t have the full amount of their income taxes withheld. The surcharge would range between 2 and 3 percent and apply to individuals making $60,000 and couples making $100,000 or more.
WRAL is arguably the most powerful and influential voice for news in North Carolina. I read one estimate that said its web traffic was nearly 7x that of its main rival, the News and Observer. Thus, the importance of WRAL accurately informing the public of the details of a $1 billion tax increase is critical.
**10am update – Since I posted this, the story has been corrected and now contains the accurate description of the income tax surcharge.