The General Assembly returned to Columbia on Wednesday, June 15th to finish outstanding work from this year’s session per the rules of the Sine Die agreement reached last month. Actions of interest to the UCC (Upstate Chamber Coalition) included:
• Tax Relief (S.1087) – The House and Senate advanced the compromise tax relief package announced last week and sent the bill to the Governor’s desk for his
signature. The package simplifies our income tax code by collapsing six brackets into three, reduces the top marginal individual income tax rate from 7% to 6.5%
effective immediately, with an additional .5% reduction to 6% over the next five years if the state’s general fund revenues increase each year, immediately reduce the
industrial property tax rate from effectively 9% to 6%, and provides a $1 billion one-time taxpayer rebate. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Harvey Peeler noted
that this package includes the most significant tax cut and rebate in the state’s history. The SC Chamber thanks the General Assembly for advancing legislation that
increases our state’s economic competitiveness.
• Budget (H.5150) – The final version of the state’s nearly $14 billion FY2022-23 budget was advanced by both legislative bodies on Wednesday and sent to the
Governor’s desk. This year’s budget makes strategic, long-term investments in the future of South Carolina on issues like public and higher education, infrastructure,
and workforce development.
• Tax Credit for Returning Citizen/Veteran Employment (S.901) – The final conference report on a bill dealing with income tax credits for using solar energy property
included language that would provide employers with a tax credit for hiring veterans or formerly incarcerated non-violent individuals. The total value of the credit
would reach $6,500 if the employee stays on the employer’s payroll for three years. The bill passed both bodies and is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
Efforts to further expand and develop our state’s workforce through promoting second chance hiring are a key part of the UCC’s 2022 agenda.
• Local Government User Fees (S.233) – After much debate Wednesday afternoon, both the House and Senate advanced a conference report that includes language
authorizing local governing bodies to enact service or user fees as long as the revenue generated from the fee benefits the payers in some manner different from, or
greater than, the members of the general public not paying the fee, is used on a specific project or improvement, and does not exceed the cost for said project or
improvement. The legislation is in response to several lawsuits filed around the state alleging that some counties have been inappropriately enacting user fees since
1997. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.