North Carolina Supreme Court to Hear Lottery Tax Case in September

July 22, 2008

The Heatherly v. State lottery case will be argued in the North Carolina Supreme Court on Monday, September 8, 2008. It will be the third of five cases argued beginning at 9:30 AM. The Tax Foundation submitted an amicus brief and will not be using argument time. More on the case here:

On May 19 the Tax Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the North Carolina Supreme Court in Heatherly v. State, urging the court to reverse a lower court ruling and hold that the North Carolina Education Lottery generates tax revenue, not “profits.” Thirty-five percent of lottery revenues is dedicated to general state spending, equivalent to a 35-percent tax on the sale of each lottery ticket. If that revenue is found to be a tax under the meaning of North Carolina law, then the lottery’s enactment in 2005 did not meet the basic state constitutional requirements for enacting tax law.

The Tax Foundation has long asserted that lottery revenue should be called tax revenue and that state lawmakers should never raise lottery revenue and simultaneously claim they “haven’t raised taxes.”

Articles, blog posts, and briefs in the case:

The opinion of the Court of Appeals.

Tax Foundation Press Release on the Court of Appeals decision.

More on lotteries and gambling taxes here.

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