2009 SC Legislative Wrap-up (TAX)

South Carolina Expectation Advisory

In December and January the Voice posted summaries of legislation introduced in the South Carolina State Legislature.

Here, six months later, is an overview of the status of those and other bills relating to tax policy.

(Also look for upcoming reviews of K-12 Education bills, Charter School bills, and Budget & Spending bills):

S. 10 Tax credits for solar, fuel cells, etc

This legislation allows a state income tax credit equal to twenty percent of the credit allowed against a taxpayer’s federal income tax liability for qualified expenditures on photovoltaic, solar, and fuel cell property. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 12 Revision of tax study committee

This bill establishes the South Carolina Taxation Realignment Commission and provides for its membership, powers, duties, and responsibilities. The legislation provides that the commission must conduct a comprehensive study of the state’s tax system and submit a report of its recommended changes to further the goal of maintaining and enhancing the state as an optimum competitor in the effort to attract businesses and individuals to locate, live, work, and invest in the state. Conference committee was appointed and the bill was taken up on June 16th. Lawmakers approved the measure provided the commission can’t consider details of Act 388 (a tax swap the legislature passed in 2006 that replaced property taxes on residential property with a two-cent increase in state sales taxes).

S. 67 Tax credits for metal detectors

This legislation allows a State income tax credit equal to fifty percent of the expense of purchasing and installing a metal detector security system installed and operated by retail space landlords and individual retailers for the purpose of providing customer and employee security. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 69 Tax credits for low-income housing

This legislation enacts the SC Low Income Housing Tax Credit Act which provides an income or insurance premium tax credit for expenditures to develop rental housing units for low income tenants. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 181 Index of Taxpaying Ability

This legislation allows the Department of Revenue to make corrections to the errors made in determining the Index of Taxpaying Ability in the period after February first and May first. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Subcommittee and did not receive any further action.

S. 182 Tax Research Commission

The legislation dissolves the Joint Committee on Taxation and establishes a permanent Tax Research Commission. The bill provides for the composition, duties and responsibilities of the commission. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Subcommittee and did not receive any further action.

S. 378 Corporate income tax, unrelated business income of exempt organizations, homeowner’s associations and cooperatives

This bill revises provisions relating to the five percent corporate income tax and the five percent tax on unrelated business income of exempt organizations, homeowner’s associations, and cooperatives, so as to phase out these taxes over ten years. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 379 School district flexibility

This Joint Resolution allows local school districts and special schools to transfer funds among appropriated revenues in order to ensure the delivery of academic and arts instruction for Fiscal Years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, allowing for the suspension of certain professional staffing ratios as well as delaying the issuing date for teaching contracts and renegotiating salaries for retired and TERI teachers below the minimum salary requirements, suspending certain formative assessments and allowing school districts to purchase the most economical type of bus fuel. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Subcommittee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3010 Allow refundable state individual income tax credit

This legislation provides for a refundable state individual income tax credit equal to ten percent of the federal earned income tax credit. The legislation provides for the amount of this state individual income tax credit to be increased annually in increments of two and one-half percent until the credit equals twenty percent. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3016 Constitutional amendment for 3/5th vote to create or raise fees

This Joint Resolution proposes to amend the State Constitution so as to provide that a bill or Joint Resolution of the General Assembly imposing or increasing a fee may not become law unless it receives the approval of three-fifths of the membership elected to the House of Representatives and three-fifths of the membership elected to the Senate. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3017 Constitutional amendment for 2/3rd vote to impose or increase a tax

This Joint Resolution proposes to amend the State Constitution so as to provide that a bill or Joint Resolution of the General Assembly imposing or increasing a tax, the revenue of which is credited to the general fund of the State, may not become law unless it receives the approval of two-thirds of the membership of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the membership of the Senate. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3146 Revision of tax study committee

This bill revises provisions for the Joint Committee on Taxation, so as to replace that committee with a new Tax Study Commission. The legislation establishes the membership and duties of the Tax Study Commission and provides that the commission’s first order of business is a review of state sales and use tax exemptions. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3207 Change certification date for result of 2008 referendum on Capital Projects Sales and Use Tax Act

This Joint Resolution changes the certification date for the result of a Capital Projects Sales And Use Tax Act referendum held at the time of the 2008 general election from no later than November 30, 2008, to no later than December 11, 2008. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3209 Delete food sales tax exemption

This legislation eliminates the sales tax exemption allowed for unprepared food items eligible for purchase with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3272 Real estate fair market value

This legislation revises provisions relating to determining the fair market value of real property for purposes of the South Carolina Real Property Valuation Reform Act, so as to postpone the implementation of the transfer value of a parcel of real property unimproved since the last countywide reassessment program until the time of implementation of the next countywide reassessment program. The bill has been set for special order in the Senate.

H. 3302 Impact fee maybe used for classroom operations

This legislation authorizes a school impact fee imposed by law or local ordinance to be used for classroom operational expenses. The bill was referred to the House Education and Public Works Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3415 SC Tax Realignment Commission

This Joint Resolution establishes the South Carolina Taxation Realignment Commission to conduct a comprehensive study of the state’s tax system including its sales tax and exemptions structure and submit a report of its recommended changes to further the goal of maintaining and enhancing the state as an optimum competitor in the effort to attract businesses and individuals to locate, live, work, and invest in the state. The bill was recommitted to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3424 Reduce corporate business tax and phase out tax credits

This legislation revises provisions relating to the five percent corporate income tax and the five percent tax on unrelated business income of exempt organizations, homeowner’s associations, and cooperatives, so as to phase out these taxes over ten years. The legislation eliminates, effective for taxable years beginning after 2018, various tax credits, and provides for the carry-forward and phased reduction of these tax credits during the phase-out period. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3748 Index of Taxpaying Ability

This legislation provides that the value of owner occupied property must be included in the Index of Taxpaying Ability and creates the Index of Taxpaying Ability Study Committee. The bill was committed to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action

H. 3963 Local match to be calculated in owner-occupied property

This legislation establishes a twenty-first century foundation program to provide for comprehensive revisions to the state’s funding of public education. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 4061 Statewide millage for the purpose of raising revenue for public school operations

This legislation provides that the General Assembly annually by Joint Resolution shall impose a statewide millage on all real and personal property subject to property tax in this state for the purpose of raising revenue for public school operations. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

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