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NC sales tax limit for counties reviewed by Senate

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Senate Republicans have retooled a proposal limiting local sales taxes in North Carolina but could still stop two large counties from putting referenda on the ballot this fall.

The Senate Finance Committee considered Monday but didn't vote on an updated measure that would allow counties to seek a new half-cent increase. It eliminates a requirement in the measure last week limiting new proceeds to education or public transportation, but not both. Now they could be shared 50-50.

The updated bill caps a county's sales tax at 2.5 percent. There are exceptions for Durham and Orange counties, which already are at 2.75 percent.

The legislation would still block Mecklenburg County from holding a November referendum because it's already at the maximum. Wake County commissioners are considering a ballot measure too.

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