North Carolina’s Senate Republican leaders are proposing a tax on legal services for individuals. Under the proposed tax reform package, corporations would not pay a sales tax for using a lawyer, but an average citizen needing legal assistance would. The tax unfairly penalizes individual North Carolinians and would discourage anyone facing financial hardship from seeking legal counsel while allowing big business a free pass.
North Carolina Advocates for Justice, a nonpartisan non-profit dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals and families, opposes the tax, which was not included in the budget plans released by Governor Pat McCrory or the N.C. House Republicans.
Over the next several weeks, the General Assembly will be immersed in tax and budget debates. In the meantime, the NCAJ is advocating for a budget “that adequately funds indigent defense services, the court system generally, and NC Prisoner Legal Services,” the latter of which is eliminated in the Senate budget. Many other states are currently considering taxing legal services but so far only New Mexico, Hawaii and South Dakota have made the tax a law.