Regarding the Oct. 28 news article “ Privilege tax repeal could cause property-tax hike”: The article allowed the city to scare the residents of Raleigh, but Raleigh’s treatment toward businesses is the real scare.
We all want fair taxes, but the local privilege license tax is anything but fair. Raleigh quietly reclassified our family business and retroactively increased our privilege license tax from a flat $100 a year fee to over $8,000 for no apparent reason. By the time we paid the retroactive tax, the current year’s tax and then the next year’s renewal tax, we had paid Raleigh almost $24,000 in about a 12-month period.
Localities have taken advantage of a loophole in the law, arbitrarily deciding how much revenue to squeeze out of businesses like ours. We are hit with a high gross-receipts-based tax, while other businesses remain totally tax exempt.
Just imagine if someone owned the only house in their neighborhood paying an $8,000 property tax while everyone else was exempt.
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The original purpose of privilege license taxes was to keep track of businesses within a town. Certainly with current technology, the City of Raleigh can locate us without taxing us $8,000. We want to thank the General Assembly for repealing this tax.