SC tax plan could end tax-free weekends

FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) - If some South Carolina lawmakers have their way, shoppers there won't have a weekend of tax free savings this year.

For 12 years, the state has offered a weekend a year where shoppers can save money on back-to-school items like supplies, clothes, and electronics used for education.

We spoke with Rep. Tommy Stringer of SC who says the measure is part of a tax plan that would ultimately benefit SC consumers.

"Anytime you have an artificial market created like to you with the weekend, sales tax free weekend, you give retailers the ability to jack up prices. We hope people would realize, over the long term they would actually be able to save money being able to buy whatever they wanted to versus doing it all in one weekend," said Representative Stringer, who is the principal author of the tax plan.

The plan includes 7 other measures according to the state GOP website,

The package consists of seven major reforms:

  • Cut the business property tax rate from 10.5% to 6%. The 10.5% rate is a problem for recruiting major manufacturers. It also hurts small businesses with expensive equipment – such as small manufacturers, construction companies, and companies with large technology investments.
  • Eliminate two-thirds of the special interest sales tax exemptions while preserving the ones that benefit families (gasoline, food, electricity, water, medicine). This is achieved with a corresponding sales tax rate decrease to offset the increased revenue collections.
  • Slash small business "active income" taxes. Our small businesses need help. We will slash the business income entrepreneurs report on their personal tax forms from 5% to 3% so they can invest in, and grow, their businesses. This should lower the tax paid on these returns by about $1,000.
  • Flatten the income tax. We collapse our six tax brackets (0, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 percent) to three (0, 3, 7), which makes the tax code more coherent while giving 4 out of 5 South Carolinians a tax cut or no change in their liability.
  • Review all sales tax exemptions every 5 years. Nearly all of the sales tax exemptions given by the General Assembly had a viable and defendable purpose at one time. We call for this review by re-creating the Joint Tax Review Committee that operated in the House and Senate many years ago.
  • Drop the property tax from 6% to 5% on commercial and rental property.
  • Eliminate the corporate income tax. This is achieved by cutting the rate by 1.25% per year over four years.