More sales tax options for counties giving initial House OK

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s 100 counties would have more options with local voter-approved sales tax money in legislation advancing in the state House.

The base sales tax rate in the state is 6.75 percent. Counties can collect more if voters agree in referenda. Ninety-four counties have power to raise the rate to 7.25 percent, with the other six to 7.5 percent. More than 30 counties have approved these higher taxes.

A bill given tentative approval Tuesday would keep these maximum rates for the counties in place. But counties would have the option if voters agree to earmark up to a half-cent toward public education or for any “general purpose.” They could also seek a quarter-penny increase for one or both purposes.

A final House vote was expected later this week.