Dalton vs. McCrory on taxes


September 22, 2012 

  • Candidate Standoff Taxes N.C. gubernatorial candidates Walter Dalton and Pat McCrory offer different approaches. Sales tax Current rate: 4.75 percent statewide plus local tax rates Dalton: Promises not to increase sales tax in his first budget proposal, despite supporting an increase earlier this year. Makes no guarantee about second budget. McCrory: Opposes any sales tax hikes

Corporate income tax rate

Current rate: 6.9 percent.

Dalton: Targets small businesses for a tax cut by exempting first $25,000 in corporate taxable income for businesses making less than $100,000 and first $15,000 for those making less than $200,000. Proposes reverting to a previous state law to eliminate the possibility that out-of-state companies could avoid paying income taxes through clever use of subsidiary companies.

McCrory: Incrementally reduce the corporate tax rate to make it competitive with neighboring states and consider eventually eliminating the tax. No specific proposal provided.

Personal income tax

Current rate: Ranges between 6 percent and 7.75 percent

Dalton: No change proposed.

McCrory: Incrementally reduce the individual income tax rate to make it competitive with neighboring states and consider eventually eliminating the tax. No specific proposal provided.

Other taxes

Dalton: Offer employers $2,000 tax break for each long-term unemployed worker they hire. Supports extension of federal wind energy tax credit. Promises a comprehensive review of all tax exemptions and credits.

McCrory: Eliminate the estate tax, which goes up to 16 percent, based on the federal rate. Also proposes a review of all tax exemptions and credits.

How to pay for it

Dalton: Plans to cap a corporate tax break approved by the GOP legislature in 2011. The law exempts small business owners, including partners in law and lobbying firms, from paying taxes on their first $50,000 in personal income. Dalton would limit it to businesses making $100,000 or less in taxable income. He estimates it will generate $141 million in additional state tax revenue and cover the cost of his proposed tax breaks and more.

McCrory: No specifics offered. He acknowledges that his “revenue neutral plan” will require other tax hikes but won’t say which taxes he would increase or what cuts he would make in state spending.

Staff writer John Frank

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