North Carolina state government graphic

A spate of new regulations will hit the books Jan. 1 as much of the Republican-controlled General Assembly’s signature tax law goes into effect.

There are a lot of moving parts. Income tax rates will be cut across the board with the rich getting the biggest benefit.

Legislators also tinkered with a number of deductions, making it difficult to quantify the difference for any given person.

Corporate taxes will be cut.

There are a bunch of changes for energy taxes, and it’s complex enough that even the utility companies haven’t worked it all out yet. Some issues are pending before the N.C. Utilities Commission, but customers may see tax increases in their energy bills next year.

The focus for now is on sales taxes where the average North Carolinian is bound to notice a number of changes on Jan. 1.

Here’s a rundown.


The state will charge sales taxes on tickets starting Jan. 1. That means new taxes on movies, sporting events, live performances, museums — pretty much most entertainment.

There’s some question about whether that should include state events, such as the N.C. State Fair. The legislative consensus seems to be that it should, and legislators are working on a bill to clarify that next year.

College meal plans

You’ll pay sales tax at the college dining hall Jan. 1, whether it’s public or private.

Sales tax holidays

No more back-to-school or Energy Star tax-free weekends.

Service contracts

Buying a maintenance contract on that new dishwasher?

You’ll pay sales tax on it beginning Jan. 1.

Jet fuel and race cars

Airlines and NASCAR teams keep their sales tax breaks on fuel purchases. Both were extended through 2015.


Lawmakers tinkered with sales tax exemptions enjoyed by farmers, but mostly just moved them to a new part of the code. However, farmers won’t be able to buy horses or mules tax free anymore starting Jan. 1.

Manufactured and modular homes

The state sales tax on these homes (now 2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively) increases to 4.75 percent Jan. 1. An existing sales tax cap on manufactured home purchases is repealed.


Just about every method used to sell a newspaper — street vendor, door-to-door delivery and even vending machines — will see a sales tax.

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​Contact Travis Fain at (336) 373-4476, and follow @travisfain on Twitter.

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