SC lawmakers’ tax reform: essential, but not sufficient

Tax & Budget
October 5, 2018

Ellen Weaver

Former President & CEO

This week, “conformity” was the buzzword in Columbia as lawmakers returned to town to deal with the impact of President Trump’s tax cuts on South Carolina’s byzantine tax code. Without a significant fix, federal tax cuts would have actually meant state tax increases (and even more filing complexity) and a revenue windfall in Columbia to the tune of $180M.

Thankfully, House and Senate lawmakers came to an agreement and avoided the immediate tax crisis.

But as we’ve said repeatedly – research shows that South Carolina’s entire tax code is a looming crisis waiting to happen. It is unfair to many different classes of taxpayers, unsustainable as our population continues to change and age, and uncompetitive with our Southeastern neighbors as we seek to attract new investment (which is what “necessitates” big incentive giveaways).

Which brings us back to conformity: this week’s Statehouse action was essential…but not sufficient. A House tax committee continues work on the thorny issue of fundamental reform and a new Senate committee has recently been established to make recommendations on the same issue.

The fight has only just begun – and we’ll continue to sound the alarm! South Carolina is bursting with economic promise waiting to be realized…if our lawmakers will face the truthfollow the promising example of North Carolina, and have the courage the make the hard decisions necessary to make our state the best it can be.