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NC tax changes, adjusted campaign finance rules, electric car fees take effect in 2014

RALEIGH, North Carolina — More than 20 new laws taking effect Wednesday in North Carolina will lower income tax rates, relax some campaign finance rules and increase charges for electric vehicle owners.

Significant portions of the tax and elections overhaul bills approved by the Republican-led General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory will be implemented starting with the new year.

The tax changes don’t apply to 2013 individual income tax returns filed by millions early in the new year. But moving ahead the law consolidates three personal income tax rates of 6, 7 and 7.75 percent into one flat rate of 5.8 percent in 2014. Many deductions, exemptions and credits also are going away as the standard deductions for filers more than double.

The corporate income tax rate of 6.9 percent also now drops to 6 percent. The combined state and local sales tax — 6.75 percent in most counties — remains the same, but the full sales tax applies to a few more goods and services, including service contracts and live entertainment. The sales tax on modular and manufactured homes also is going up.

While photo ID requirements and other provisions in the new elections law will be implemented later or are being challenged in court, changes affecting donors and campaign advertising and expenses begin in January.

The maximum amount an individual donor or political action committee can give to a candidate committee or another PAC increases from $4,000 per election to $5,000. The increase, the first in more than 30 years, is reasonable, said Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, who helped shepherd the election law through the General Assembly and to McCrory’s desk


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