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South Carolina Sales Tax Exemptions On The Chopping Block


UPDATE:5/3/2012 Passed the House 63-39 and is now in the Senate.

4/18/2012. The SC House Ways and Means Committee pared down the bill to eliminate only one-third of the existing sales tax exemptions, "...after putting about a dozen back on the exemption list." Back on the list: lottery tickets, gun sales during Thanksgiving weekend and the penny sales tax discount for residents over 85.

South Carolina has a number of bills proposed that will reduce sales tax exemptions. One proposal includes “…deleting two-thirds of tax exemptions” according to wsbtv.com. The elimination of the sales tax exemptions is worth $260 million a year to South Carolina.

The most talked-about “outdated sales tax exemption” is not included in any of the bills before the House. The “$300 [sales tax] cap on automobile sales is perhaps the most egregious example of this unfortunate tendency to react to a specific crisis and forget all about reasonable readjustments once the crisis is past, Mike Fanning, executive director of ROAR (Reduce Our Awful Tax Rates), wrote in the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s November/December edition of ‘South Carolina Business.’”

What is included? “Sales taxes would be added to items such as portable toilets, textbooks. Lottery tickets and newspapers.” However, “[t]he measure by House Republicans leaves intact exemptions on necessities such as groceries, water service, electricity and medicine.” It was the opinion of House Representative Tommy Stringer that “…removing these would hurt the typical taxpayer.”

The House returns from break today and it’s reported to be “…unlikely to get traction in the Senate” even if the House has time to pass it before the crossover deadline April 30.

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”