Approved State Budget Includes New Sales Taxes and Increased Fees
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September 21, 2015

North Carolina lawmakers, after much delay, finally agreed and approved a state budget last week.

The new budget should be an interest to consumers who will see new sales taxes on a variety of services, as well as some fee increases.

While the sales tax expansion will become effective in March 2016, the tax cuts provided in the budget won't become effective until 2017.

If you're looking to tackle some home improvement projects or car repairs, you may want to consider doing them now to save yourself some money. On March 1, car repairs, oil changes, flooring installations, kitchen remodeling, appliance installation and service contracts will all be subject to sales taxes according to your county's current rate.

Sales taxes run between 6.75 and 7.5 percent depending on the county. The expansion is expected to raise about $159.5 million per year. Rural counties are expected to benefit the most from the expanded tax system as the new revenue will go to support areas that are at a disadvantage.

After quite a bit of outcry, advertising, veterinary services, pet care, and lawn mowing services won't be taxed. Home repairs where the contractor isn't selling materials also aren't included.

Along with increasing costs to maintain a vehicle, fees related to registering or driving that vehicle are also increasing. A 30 percent increase in DMV fees is expected to raise about $153 million in revenue. An eight-year driver's license after July 2016 be $40 and the standard car registration will be $36. Other increases start this October.

The cost associated with a state-required screening tests for newborn babies is increasing from $19 to $24 next month.

Students attending community colleges will see a slight increase in their per-credit-hour tuition next spring. Tuition will increase from $72 to $76 per credit hour.

An easy-to-digest breakdown of the budget changes can be found here.

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