In response to the May 21 editorial “Tax shift,” I would like to make several key points:
▪ The legislature actually reinstated the privilege license tax to give cities one more year to adjust to the change.
▪ While some cities like Lumberton, Durham and Raleigh are proposing property tax increases, it is for reasons other than PLTs (i.e. voter-approved parks bonds, pay raises, etc.).
▪ Mint Hill, Apex and others successfully operate their towns without a PLT; other towns should take note.
▪ “Local governments had the right to impose the surcharges on business based on the impact of the businesses.” Isn’t that what the property tax is for? How is charging a tax based on gross receipts equitable?
▪ Not onerous? Talk to the independent grocery store owner in Longview who paid over $5,000 in PLTs in addition to property tax!
▪ The PLT was never intended to be a revenue generator for cities. If cities are going to use town funds to pay for hotels, baseball stadiums, job incentives, bike-sharing programs, etc. (and they are), shouldn’t all residents pay for these amenities rather than businesses singled out by cities?
President, NC Retail Merchants Association