People weigh in on Senate's decision to cap sales taxes - | WBTV Charlotte

People weigh in on Senate's decision to cap sales taxes


Wednesday the Senate voted to cap North Carolina counties sales tax to 2.5%.  They say this decision will level the playing field for counties and give them the flexibility to use their existing taxes to support public education.

While Senators say this is a good move, others question the timing. Mecklenburg County commissioners recently agreed to let voters decide, through a November referendum, if they want to pay more in sales taxes to help boost teacher pay.  The suggested increased amount would be 2.75%.

"If this bill were to pass," Mecklenburg County Commission Chair Trevor Fuller said. "It would have the effect of taking away the right of the people of Mecklenburg County to decide their own fate - to decide what to do with their own money."

Fuller believes raising the sales tax is the only viable way to help improve teacher pay for years to come. He is worried with the Senate passing this legislation, the referendum will not happen.

"We will be in a situation," Fuller said. "Where we will be stuck with terrible options, with either having to look at where we are with our property taxes or looking at substantial cuts to county services which neither are good options at all."

The next stop for the legislation is the House.  The House must approve it first, before it's a done deal. 

"What will probably happen," House Representative Rodney Moore said. "Is that the House - we will either try to amend it or we may table it. That's what I'm hearing. I am not hearing there is an appetite from our Chamber to take up that particular provision."

While Fuller waits to see what happens, chairperson of the Charlotte - Mecklenburg school board is weighing in.  Mary McCray believes this is not fair since two NC counties' sales tax is above the proposed cap of 2.5%.  Durham and Orange Counties have a sales tax of 2.75%. They will be grandfathered in.

"They are above the 2.5%," McCray said. "So that's what makes this looks like a slap in the face to Mecklenburg County. So my suggestion would be go above that. A cap at 3%. So it doesn't look like you are personally attacking any county in North Carolina."

No word when the House will hear this Senate Bill. We reached out to Senators about this plan.  Still waiting for a comment.

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