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Tax proposal: Increase grocery tax, eliminate income tax

By Jon Erickson
Published On: Jan 18 2013 06:17:09 PM CST
GREENVILLE -

Evelyn Lopez says she doesn’t have an extra $300 to spend on groceries.

But that’s how much she’d spend on extra taxes under a proposed state tax overhaul.

The increase is part of a plan state Senate Republicans are floating as they prepare to convene later this month.

The proposal would eliminate the state income tax and replace that income with an increased sales tax, among other items.

The floated sales tax rate, 8.05 percent, is a ceiling, according to the man leading the effort for the change, Senator Bob Rucho (R – Mecklenburg).

That rate is more than four times the current rate shoppers pay on groceries, 2 percent.

The goal of the overhaul is to make the state’s economy “second to none in the country,” Rucho said.

Lopez has read about the proposal.

She believes it would be especially difficult for low-wage earners.

“I know it would [be hard] for me,” Lopez said.

The proposal would scrap the corporate tax, as well.

But services, like haircuts or car washes, would be newly subject to sales tax.

Rucho said the current proposal is subject to change.