Poll finds North Carolinians support sales tax hike

November 19, 2010 8:24:38 AM PST
A poll released by Elon University Friday suggests a majority of North Carolinians would support raising the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar to help close the state's budget gap.

In North Carolina, the state levies a general retail sales tax of 5.25 percent. Most counties add on a 2.5 percent local sales tax.

State leaders say they must find about $3 billion to close the budget shortfall for the next fiscal year. The new Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly has indicated it intends to get the state's fiscal house in order with significant cuts to services.

Elon says it spoke to more than 500 North Carolina residents for its poll. When told of the state budget shortfall and asked on how they would deal with it, Elon says only 15 percent opposed a tax increase.

Sixty-two percent supported an increase.

But the majority opposed creating new types of taxes. If faced with an increase, most favored a hike in the sales tax.

"These results indicate that North Carolinians are cognizant of the situation facing the state and, apparently in lieu of making things worse for others, are willing to shoulder their share of the budget burden," said Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll in a news release that accompanied the poll results.

Elon said the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent

Click here for the full poll results (.pdf)

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