Winners and Losers New NC Laws Help Some People
2014 means new changes in a number of North Carolina laws, as well as new fees and taxes.
Greensboro attorney Don Vaughan has practiced law for 30 years. He tells WFDD’s Kathryn Mobley most people will have a little more money in their pay check because the income tax rate has been reduced. "For decades, North Carolina has had a three-tier tax system in which the highest earners paid 7.75% while low-income taxpayers paid 6%. Now there is one system where everyone will pay the same 5.8% rate." However, Vaughan explains Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican led legislature have eliminated several tax deductions that benefited low-income earners. "The 529 Plan to put away money for college is gone and the estate tax has been eliminated," says Vaughan. "Also every employee will have to file a new tax form but deductions for spouses and children are no longer allowed." Other new taxes will increase the ticket cost for entertainment events such as a movie, a concert and a sporting event. Taxes will also go up on sales contracts, hunting fees as well as the sales tax on mobile home purchases. There are also some unusual state laws that are now in effect. Jurors who served on grand juries will not have to serve again for six years. If an animal is locked in a car and appears to be in distress, an emergency responder can break into the car and rescue it. Also the time an animal shelter can hold a found animal has been lengthened, giving people more time to find their lost pet.Vaughan also says there are some new, unusual laws. "The general assembly decided you could drop a opossum and other animals if they are in a protective cage and if it were for a ceremonial or annual event," explains Vaughan. "New York has its crystal ball, Raleigh has its acorn dropping so now several towns in North Carolina are able to drop a opossum."
Greensboro attorney Don Vaughan says about 40 new laws have gone into effect in North Carolina as of today, January 1, 2014. Vaughan teaches state and government at the law schools of Wake Forest and Elon Universities.