Outdated sales tax exemptions eliminated, cutting the overall rate
(Columbia, SC) – Today, the SC House of Representatives passed another tax reform bill (H. 4995) – the third to pass this week and key component of the House’s comprehensive tax reform package. The bill eliminates 21 sales tax exemptions and uses that formerly exempted revenue to lower the overall sales tax rate.
As an added tax accountability measure, and to identify more exemptions that could be eliminated, the bill re-enacts the Joint Committee on Taxation – a joint House/Senate tax review panel. The Committee will continuously review the feasibility of exemptions and submit their public findings and recommendations to the General Assembly.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell commented on the passage of another tax reform bill:
“The road to comprehensive tax reform is a long one and the House is making progress by passing these tax reform bills. This bill is a good start and gets South Carolina further down that road.
“To further cut and broaden the overall sales tax rate we will continue to address the elimination of other exemptions based on recommendations from the Joint Committee on Taxation. As we said, this bill is a good start.
“In this tax reform bill, the House targeted and eliminated exemptions that had outlived their intended purpose while maintaining exemptions on key items that are core necessities of life. By maintaining these exemptions, South Carolinians will continue to pay no sales taxes on their grocery bill, electricity bill, water bill, prescription drug bill and more.
“In a lawsuit brought last year by the SC Democratic Party Chairman and others, the group sued to strike all sales tax exemptions and use the resulting $3 billion annual tax increase to grow government spending. This effort to bypass our conservative Legislature by asking the court to force a massive tax increase on all South Carolinians simply because this group believes that taxes should be higher and government should control more of our lives is misguided and is not real reform.”
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