Home repair in Charlotte just got more expensive

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Calling the handyman is now likely to cost you more, thanks to a new expansion on sales taxes.

Effective this week (New Year’s Day, to be precise), a lot more services are now subject to sales taxes. It’s a continuation of a new tax plan that lowers overall North Carolina tax rates but broadens the scope of things that are taxable.

For the first time, handymen and other repair professionals who don’t sell physical items are required to charge sales tax, with some exceptions.

Some of the newly taxable things include: 

  • Minor home repair
  • Re-keying doors
  • Hardwood floor refinishing
  • Kitchen cabinet replacement
  • Swimming pool cleaning

main-pool-at-strawberry-hill-apartments

You still won’t have to pay sales tax on these things:

  • Landscaping
  • Pest control
  • Moving services
  • Snow removal

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This means home repair will now be about 7.25 percent more expensive.

4.75 percent comes from the state. Mecklenburg County gets another 2 percent. The remaining half-cent is the transit tax that had paid for things like the light rail.

This will now be added to things like home repair. So a handyman bill that formerly cost $500 will now cost $537.50.

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The rules are super confusing, and businesses are still figuring them out.

This could lead to companies charging sales tax when they don’t need to, or failing to collect sales tax when they were supposed to.

Businesses across Charlotte are now trying to figure out where they fall — on both sides of that.

Mike Carpinelli, owner and president of Mike’s Home Repair, said he hasn’t gotten any notice from the state Department of Revenue about new sales tax but would check with his accountant. He said that he would follow any new sales tax rules “to the nth degree.”

“I do not see any ill effects to my business sales volume, but will see an increase in operation costs
as this task requires more work to file sales tax forms and manage deposits and payables,” he said.

Another unknown involves what businesses will be exempt from sales tax. For example, the sales tax law appears to exempt self-service car washes. But the Sam’s Xpress car wash chain, based in Matthews, sent an email out to customers last week informing them that because of the law changes, they’d have to start charging sales taxes.

The company could not immediately be reached to explain.

Vacuum Stalls Sam's Xpress

The gasoline tax is also going up slightly.

The sales tax on gas, already among the highest in the Southeast, is going up from 34 cents per gallon to 34.3 cents per gallon.

That means filling up an 11-gallon tank like mine will go from $3.74 per fill-up to $3.77.

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Cover image by rioncm via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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Andrew Dunn
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Editor-in-Chief