N.C. now taxes newspaper buyers

Jan. 11, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

The price of the newspaper has not gone up, but part of the tax package passed by the General Assembly in July is adding to the cost of buying newspapers.

That means home subscription prices and the price you pay to buy the paper at a store will go up by 6.75 percent. For instance, the weekday cover price of the News-Topic will still say 75 cents, but at the cash register in a store the tax will bring the cost to 81 cents; Sunday's cover price will still say $1.50, but the tax will bring it to $1.61. The prices of other newspapers in North Carolina will be affected in the same way.

The News-Topic will not receive any of that extra charge. Most of it – 4.75 of the 6.75 percent – goes to the state, and the rest goes to Caldwell County.

The main feature of the tax package that legislators passed last year was a cut in personal and corporate income tax rates. It replaced three personal income tax brackets, including a 7.75 percent rate for the highest wage earners, with a single tax rate of 5.9 percent. The corporate income tax of 6.9 percent will decrease incrementally to 5.4 percent by 2018.

But to make up for part of the lost revenue from cutting those tax rates, legislators extended the sales tax to a number of products and services that formerly had been tax-exempt, including newspapers, warranties, maintenance activities and services such as car repairs.