Tuesday, March 01, 2016

It's March 1: Do You Know Where Your Taxes Are?

New taxes on sales&services go into effect in North Carolina today, all enacted by the Republican General Assembly and signed by Governor Squishy to make up for the loss of revenue that was given  away to the rich in big tax breaks.

The taxes land heaviest on the middle and working classes who have to spend a greater part of their income on the very sales&services that the Republicans are now taxing.

For example, it will now cost you more to get your old car repaired, to get alterations done to your old clothing, to get a new appliance installed, and, because the Republicans like to meddle in everything we do, from having sex to dying, even tombstone engraving is now taxed. They're taxing the very labor required to do those jobs.

But figuring out the exceptions takes a graduate degree (and it sure looks like some special-interest lobbying got carve-outs for some businesses).  Veterinary services, pet care, and advertising are all exempt from the new taxes. According to the News&Observer,
Whether a service is taxed will largely depend on whether the firm performing the service is also selling materials – and therefore already collecting sales taxes.
“Thus far, it’s been a bit difficult to truly understand it,” said Jim Pendergrass, executive director of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of North Carolina. “There seems to be a lot of exemptions and a lack of clarifications.”
Sales tax requirements will be based on whether the majority of a business’ sales come from parts or equipment. That means a service – unclogging a toilet, for example – would be subject to sales tax with a company whose business is mostly sales but exempt if a customer hires someone whose business is just to provide the service.
In other words ... we get something else the Republicans specialize in: an unlevel playing field.

  • Automotive fluid exchanges, including oil, engine coolant/antifreeze, refrigerant, brake, power steering, windshield washer, transmission, differential.
  • Automotive fuel system repairs including cleaning or inspecting fuel injectors, visual inspection of fuel lines, adjust throttle, fuel treatment.
  • Automotive electrical repairs including battery tests, charge, or jump services; applying protective coat to battery terminals; visually inspecting wiring and wiring components; testing fuse; cleaning battery terminals or receptacles.
  • Automotive tire maintenance and repairs including rotations, mount, balance, alignment, patch or plug; measure and adjust pressure.
  • Automotive suspension maintenance and repairs including steering and suspension inspection; grease joints or bearings; pack bearings.
  • Automotive inspections including preventative maintenance, multi-points, brake system, visual (belts, hoses, wiring, brakes, engine components, air conditioning components, lines, windshield wipers, etc.)
  • Automotive adjustments or calibrations including belt tension, speedometer, tachometer, throttle, and set or adjust spark plug gap.
  • Automotive maintenance including exterior washing, wax, or detail services; paint; removing scratches, dents, or dings; applying protective coating (spray on bed liners, clear cots, waxes, moisture/rain protection), window tinting.
  • Automotive maintenance including interior reupholstering, cleaning (upholstery, carpet, windows), and applying protective coatings.
  • Automotive repairs including troubleshooting a fluid leak or attempting to “diagnose an unusual noise coming from a motor vehicle, whether or not the source of the leak or noise is found or remedied.”
  • Automotive restoration of headlights, moldings, trims, etc.
  • Automotive roadside service fees “where the intent of the service call is to troubleshoot.”
  • Performing a service or tune-up of a motor vehicle, lawnmower, trimmer, edger, leaf blower, pressure washer, generator, chainsaw, tiller, auger, “or other similar small engine;” boat; aircraft; ATV or dirt bike; moped; golf cart; or bicycle
  • Calibrating watches, scales, guns or scopes
  • Calibrating medical equipment including Lasik surgery equipment, thermometers
  • Calibrating instruments “musical or otherwise;”
  • Camera repairs
  • Cleaning jewelry, copy machines, printers, “or other tangible property” including motor vehicles.
  • Removing dents, dings, and scratches from “tangible personal property” including motor vehicles.
  • Restoring or reupholstering furniture.
  • Patching or mending clothes, tires, or any type of inflatable.
  • Sharpening blades
  • Polishing shoes, jewelry, or silver.
  • Troubleshooting fluid leaks or attempting to identify an unusual noise coming from “other tangible personal property, whether or not the source of the leak or noise is located, determined, or resolved.”
  • Troubleshooting prewritten computer software “to determine how to restore to proper working order.”
  • Reupholstering boats
  • Re-string or re-grip tennis rackets, golf clubs, or musical instruments.
  • Tune pianos or other musical instruments
  • Repairing laptops, cell phones, removing viruses/malware, conducting diagnostic tests, or adjusting computer settings.
  • “Tangible personal property may include: clothing alterations; painting tangible personal property; embroidery; screen-printing; window tinting for motor vehicles.”


Anonymous said...

How on earth do the NC Republicans square their actions with GOP ideology? Higher taxes, centralized control - these are antithetical to the central tenets of the Republican Party!!

Anonymous said...

How is it Piano tuners (who sell nothing) are taxed, but pet care isn't?

waterfall643 said...

This is insane. I hope people pay attention and vote accordingly. It seems very stupid to me to institute a new tax that will affect just about everyone and will be so obvious. These taxes will hit people hard and will hooefully spur more opposition to the GOP agenda.