An increase in the North Carolina highway use tax rate and elimination of the cap on use taxes paid on commercial trucks has died in the state’s legislature. The proposal under consideration for increasing the highway use tax included a potential doubling of the use tax from its current rate of 3 percent of a vehicle’s retail value to 6 percent. The current use tax must be paid when applying for a certificate of title for a vehicle. There was also a possibility that the legislature would either eliminate or raise the current cap on highway use tax for such trucks. The cap is currently set at $1,000 for trucks over 26,000 pounds. The elimination of this cap would have had a significant and direct impact on the tax burden of commercial truck owners. The legislature adjourned on August 2, without reaching an agreement to raise the highway use tax. As an alternative method of raising transportation funds, the legislature increased the annual registration fee for passenger vehicles by $8 and directed the increase to go to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.
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