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North Carolina Consumer Tax Laws

A tax is a financial charge imposed by a government. Revenue from taxes generally goes to fund public services. There are various kinds of taxes, one of which is consumer taxes. Consumer taxes include things like retail sales tax, taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, gasoline tax, and other taxes related to specific goods. North Carolina consumer tax rates are relatively low for cigarettes (because more than 15 percent of North Carolina's agricultural revenue comes from tobacco), while it has some of the highest liquor tax rates in the country.

North Carolina's consumer taxes are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Tax Law section for additional articles and resources.

Consumer Tax

Tax Rate

North Carolina General States Code Section

Sales Tax

4.75% on retail sales of personal property, admissions to entertainment activities, contracts to repair personal property, and other transactions.

Items subject to the state sales tax may also be charged a local sales tax that varies by county


Aircraft and Boat Sales

3% of the retail sale of a boat or aircraft (maximum tax of $1,500 per item)


Motor Vehicle Lease and Rental Tax

8% for a short-term rental lease (less than 365 days) and 3% for long-term lease (at least 365 days)


Cigarette Tax

45 cents per pack of twenty cigarettes


Gasoline Tax

37.5 cents per gallon


Use Tax



Liquor Tax

  • Beer 53.177 cents per gallon;
  • Wine 79 cents per liter unfortified;
  • Wine 29.34 per liter fortified;
  • Spirits 25% (retail)


Scrap Tire Disposal Tax

1% or 2% tax on the sale of new tires depending on the tire size


White Goods Disposal Tax

$3.00 for the disposal of refrigerators, water heaters, stoves, washing machines, and other similar domestic and commercial appliances. The tax is also applied to the purchase of new appliances.


Solid Waste Disposal Tax

$2.00 per ton of waste for municipal waste and construction and demolition debris in a landfill


Note: State laws are constantly changing and it's important to know your tax obligations to avoid any penalties or additional fees. For advice you may want contact a North Carolina tax law attorney or other financial professional.

Research the Law

North Carolina Consumer Tax Laws: Related Resources

Learn More About North Carolina's Consumer Tax Laws from an Attorney

Consumer taxes, such as those on cigarettes and retail sales, typically are paid at the point of purchase without much fanfare. But if you have questions about use tax, solid waste disposal tax, or any of the taxes discussed above, it's a good idea to talk to a skilled tax lawyer in North Carolina.

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