To the Editor,
The NC Retail Merchants Association would like to thank Sen. Michael Walters for his bi-partisan support to reign in a tax that was never envisioned to get to these levels. I would like to point out that because the Privilege License Tax is not regulated, it has become an easy tax to “adjust” at the local level based on a town’s need to supplement its budget.
In many cases municipalities have exceeded their taxing authority by levying Privilege License Taxes based on gross receipts with no regard to profit or services provided. Some businesses are paying thousands for the “privilege of operating a business,” whiles others in the same shopping center pay zero or $25.
For example, one family-owned business in Raleigh saw their tax bill go from $50 to more than $9,000 yet this business does not receive more police, fire, utility, or trash service now than it did before. Retailers pay property taxes, business license fees, trash collection fees and collect the sales tax for free.
However, it is not practical for one industry to bear the burden of raising additional revenue for local budgets.