Retailers Look for Improved Economy During Holiday Shopping

RALEIGH — Republican leaders have been working for years to re-write tax laws in North Carolina. Changes to corporate, personal and sales taxes have been going into effect for several years, all in an effort to encourage improvements to the state’s economy. They are improvements state retailers say should be felt during the busiest shopping days of the year.

“We are looking for growth this holiday season to be up about 5.7 percent over last year,” said Andy Ellen with the NC Retail Merchants Association. “[It] will be good growth.“

The tax changes continued into 2015, including sales tax changes that have special provisions to bring more dollars to rural communities.

“We are hoping to see evenness throughout the rural part of the state as well as the urban part of the state,” said Ellen. “That’s one area the General Assembly has been looking is how to, instead of having two North Carolina’s, to have one prosper. But I think the urban areas are maybe a little more optimistic than the rural areas at this point.”

For some the fight was to stop changes to certain type of tax law. The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association represents 17,000 restaurants and 1,700 lodging establishments across the state. It says its goal was to stop the promotional purpose of occupancy tax from being changed.

“This is an industry that stood up and said, ‘Yes, tax us, it’s OK,” said Lynn Minges with the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association. “We just want to make sure those taxes are used for the right kinds of things.”

As retailers prepare for their busy holiday shopping days, and restaurants and hotels fill the need for family and friend gatherings, the state continues to work on what it calls an ever evolving state tax structure.

Time Warner Cable News 
Article by: Loretta Boniti