Regarding the Oct. 28 news article “ Privilege tax repeal could cause property-tax hike”: Contrary to the doom and gloom from the City of Raleigh, retailers would like to thank the General Assembly for finally dealing with the inequities and abuse of the local privilege license tax by repealing it, effective July 2015. The tax was intended to register who did business in towns, but it has been abused, and cities became dependent upon the revenue.
Retailers pay property taxes and business fees and collect the sales tax free. However, it is not practical for one industry to bear the burden of filling local budget gaps. Based on 2013 tax reform, many cities will see increased revenues to help offset any loss from the repeal.
How does Apex manage just fine without any privilege license tax yet Cary imposes a gross receipts privilege license tax? Why does one business pay $20,000 in Raleigh while another pays nothing? Mayor Nancy McFarlane says the repeal was passed too fast, but no city should be surprised that this tax has finally been halted.
The inequities have been the topic of many legislative meetings over two decades with all parties having an opportunity for input. Thankfully, this General Assembly finally reined in this archaic tax.
President and general counsel, N.C. Retail Merchants Association