Could North Carolina Lower Personal Income Tax Cap?

Date: March 15, 2017

Currently, the North Carolina constitution caps the state’s personal income tax rate at 10 percent, but three Senators are proposing to lower that cap to 5.5 percent.

The current state personal income tax rate is 5.499 percent, and it was 7.75 percent as recently as January 2013, reported the Winston-Salem Journal. If Senate Bill 75 passes both chambers, the issue would be taken to the voters. North Carolinians would have a chance to weigh in on the proposed constitutional amendment in a November 2018 ballot referendum. If voters approve the measure, personal income tax rates would essentially be locked in where they are now.

SB 75 is sponsored by Sens. Tommy Tucker, Jerry Tillman, and Andrew Brock. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger also supports the proposal.

“Since Republican tax cuts have helped create hundreds of thousands of North Carolina jobs and a half-billion-dollar budget surplus, and since Gov. Roy Cooper has said he does not want to raise taxes, we hope he will enthusiastically support this constitutional amendment,” Sen. Tucker said in a news release.

A similar bill passed the Senate in 2016 on a 31-18 vote but did not receive a hearing in the House. At this writing, the bill is with the Senate Finance Committee. If it receives a favorable report, it will be referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations.

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