More tax changes take effect in North Carolina

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — From buying school supplies to paying your power bill, a new round of tax changes went into effect this week that will impact how much you may have to shell out.

WSOC-TV reported that Yer Lee helps run her family’s flower stand in uptown Charlotte.

She’s a mother of five and every year she took advantage of North Carolina’s tax-free weekend to buy school supplies.

“Usually I’m buying books, pencils, shoes and clothes for uniforms,” Lee said.

Now for the first time in 12 years, Lee and other parents won’t have that option.

The sweeping tax reform Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law last summer eliminated the back-to-school sales tax holiday.

“It was beneficial for us because it kept a little bit more money in our pockets,” said Olsie Robinson, a resident.

A local tax expert said losing the tax break could still benefit shoppers.

Concord Mills announced plans to have a “better than tax free” sales event at the end of the month where some shops will offer major discounts on many back-to-school items.

There will also be tax changes on power bills this summer.

Natural gas customers will see the former 4.7 percent excise replaced with a 7 percent sales tax, which is about $2.50 added to a $100 monthly bill.

A Duke Energy spokesperson said while the sales tax went up, the tax reform eliminated the utility gross receipts/franchise tax, which was $3.56 on the average bill.

It also decreased the corporate income tax by 17 cents.  Duke Energy said a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month should only see a 43-cent increase each month.

The annual sales tax holiday on certified energy-efficient appliances was also eliminated.

South Carolina will still have its back-to-school sales tax holiday the first weekend in August.

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