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View Full Version : NC considering adding sales tax to Lawn Servicing


Richard Martin
04-25-2010, 03:21 PM
Here we go.

http://www.reflector.com/news/service-tax-prompts-discussion-32767

I am one of the few tax paying solo operators in my area. No customer will want to pay an extra 8% on top of my, what would appear to be, premium prices. I've spoken to a lot of solos in my area. What one of them said to me puts the attitude of most solo LCOs in my area into perspective. "You're insured and pay taxes? It's almost like you have a real business."

I only average $39 a hour now. If I have to absorb the 8% service tax I be down at $35.88.

But, I already have a hard time selling $35 jobs when everybody else only wants $20 and $25. How could I possibly hope to sell a job when the price is jacked to $37.80 and no one else raises their prices.

Most of my customers think I take their checks to the bank, cash them and then don't report it. I've told them repeatedly that that's not what happens. I don't have the time or money to drive all over town to do that even if I felt like doing it.

rain man
04-25-2010, 03:44 PM
I would consider contacting my state representative. They may or may not realize that 80% of this "industry" does not report income. It is not right to tax without equal enforcement and to do so is destructive.

Two Seasons
04-25-2010, 04:01 PM
The problem is that those whose "represent" us won't stop spending OUR hard earned money for their pet projects...as we watch our infrastructure crumble around us.

Even our president lied to us...$250K or less = no new taxes! A bunch of liars and cowards! All those entitlement programs cost a lot of money.

People who are capable and won't work shouldn't eat or be sheltered by the taxpaying public. Where is the means testing for all these handouts?

Have you checked the licensing and fees that your state is charging lately? Here in WI ours almost doubled for every thing the last couple of years.

Roger
04-25-2010, 08:01 PM
Why is there a reason for you to absorb the 8% sales tax? Undoubtedly the NC residents are paying that tax on many other goods, and/or services. The notion of them paying another 8% on top of the amount should not be foreign to them.

If they have a complaint, their effort should be directed toward those who enacted the tax, not the service provider.

We have had a 6% (7% next county) sales tax for a long time. It is just added to the bottom line, and people pay it, knowing that we are required to remit a tax on sales. If I don't add it on the bottom, then I'm taking it out of my sales revenue.

PA has the 6% (or 7% in a couple of counties) on many services. Some property services are not included in the list. A current proposal on the table for consideration is to lower the tax (4%?), but apply it to nearly every service (and more goods as well, ones now exempted). The obvious intent is to generate more revenue.

mhaley927
04-25-2010, 08:48 PM
If they have a complaint, their effort should be directed toward those who enacted the tax, not the service provider.



This is true, but what sounds easier to you... changing state law or switching lawn services?

Richard, you might have to jsut take this one on the chin to avoid losing any.... You MIGHT be ok because for a lot of people (especially if theyre paying premium prices already) 6% isnt huge.

My only potential suggestion would be to 1) explain the situation and 2) offer to split the tax with them so your hourly only drops 3%.

Or I guess you could mow faster :P

brodo374
04-25-2010, 09:22 PM
Not sure 39 bucks an hour with a 8% tax would be worth it.

CincyWolf
04-25-2010, 11:59 PM
With the current administrations raping of the country and unfunded mandates on the states there is a problem. The states are bound to balance the budget and when the Feds require something new then something has to give. Just a reality of spend and tax politics.

CincyWolf
04-30-2010, 06:01 PM
Might also be time for NC to get rid of that Democrat living in the Gov Mansion. She seems to be almost as bad as that crook she replaced.

fastcat
04-30-2010, 06:06 PM
i know where your coming from. its hard enough now to get the normal decent $ out of a yard that little 8% could make some people leave and you know where they will go joe no tax paying blow. i have mentioned it to a couple of my customers and they dont mind paying the extra but i dont want the extra paper work.

Roger
04-30-2010, 07:54 PM
.... but i dont want the extra paper work.

What is the extra paperwork?

Any financial management software should include "taxable" or "nontaxable" for a task of work. The amounts are rolled up for you.

Also, I'm doubting that any remittance would be by paper. Aren't they doing all the remittances and monetary exchanges electronically?

I am doubting that any paper is involved. Right? Or, not right?

GreenmanCT
04-30-2010, 08:03 PM
we already have to charge it hear in CT. but its only 6%.

Richard, how do you do your invoices? I use quickbooks pro and it shows up in there that the sales tax is extra of the base service. I would send a letter with your invoices and cite the recent change in law. You should not be absorbing the tax, thats the customers job.

Then again, cash is sweet.

Richard Martin
04-30-2010, 08:17 PM
we already have to charge it hear in CT. but its only 6%.

Richard, how do you do your invoices? I use quickbooks pro and it shows up in there that the sales tax is extra of the base service. I would send a letter with your invoices and cite the recent change in law. You should not be absorbing the tax, thats the customers job.

Then again, cash is sweet.

I use a program called FF Billing Manager Pro. It takes seconds to make an invoice up and it does also have auto sales tax if I desire.

We'll see what happens if they pass the law. They're just kicking it around the sandbox right now. I was just trying to get some input from you guys. Tommy over at ALMA (see my link below) has a vid on how to deal with the circumstances of competeing in a low baller world and I'm going to check it out.

Tharrell
04-30-2010, 09:29 PM
Yeah, Bev has to go, along with a bunch of other losers.

sharpcuts
05-01-2010, 11:58 PM
What is the extra paperwork?

Any financial management software should include "taxable" or "nontaxable" for a task of work. The amounts are rolled up for you.

Also, I'm doubting that any remittance would be by paper. Aren't they doing all the remittances and monetary exchanges electronically?

I am doubting that any paper is involved. Right? Or, not right?

Maybe bookwork is a better word. Yes, most decent accounting/billing programs can calculate & track the sales tax for you, but you still have to fill out (either paper or electronic) sales tax reports monthly.

Richard Martin, I know of at least one other solo in your area that has a legit business. I am sure he pays his taxes. You will just have to add the 8% to your bill. When you go to the grocery store you don't complain about them adding the sales tax at the counter. ( well you might, but it won't get you anywhere) The guys that don't pay the sales tax will get eliminated eventually. The state usually watches out for themselves pretty good. Glad I left good old ENC. Getting more government charges all the time. NC was pretty good in not having sales tax on labor, but I guess that's gonna be next.

Az Gardener
05-02-2010, 01:09 AM
I have the same problem here, fortunately there is so much more to landscape maint here that I have the opportunity to illustrate our expertise and professionalism.

Today I delivered a maint bid that was 3 times what they are paying now. This is typical because my competition not only charges less and doesn't pay tax's, insurance etc. They also don't spend the time needed to properly maintain the property. So it declines and becomes a depreciating asset. Consider what that does to the homes value? I do my best to remind them of that.

I was also delivering a 8-K irrigation renovation along with about 2-k worth of plant replacements. I also pointed out about 3-5K worth of water damage caused by the irrigation system. I was refferd by a tree service that will do about 3-K worth of tree trimming. which they do about every 2-3 years. The homeowners told me during our initial meeting they spent 5-k about 3-4 years ago to enhance an area and that it had all died. The place is a million dollar wreck. It all could have been avoided if we had been their Gardeners over the years.

So that's aprox. 27-K in the last 8 years or 96 months. That's $281.00 per month not to mention the time and grief involved and the place is never looking good. The big expense is the fact that the landscape is maturing and could be an appreciating asset and could improve the homes value by 10's of thousands of dollars and they could be enjoying the Garden all the while.

That's how I sell our service. Its a tough sell and most of the time the people have to hit rock bottom and be at their wits end with their L/S for it to work. I don't know how you do that if you are only cutting grass.

MyKisa
05-02-2010, 07:25 AM
....I hear there will be a license or fee to be created on top of what is already in place here in Florida....seems when gov man licenses anything, he is bound and determined to come and take it all...

milkie62
05-02-2010, 10:57 PM
I know a couple of guys who buy fertilizer and sprays from Lesco and even though they have a business discount will pay the sales tax and just charge it as such to the customer.They do not charge tax on their labor that way they do not have all the tax issues at the end of the year.