By Representative Shannon S. Erickson
Bragging rights for being #50: It’s usually not a good thing to end up at the bottom of state rankings, but this time it’s terrific. Being the 50th ranked state means that S.C. taxes its citizens at the lowest rate per capita of all states. The ranking comes from the prestigious Tax Foundation, a Conservative think tank. The average state tax burden in America is $2,339; SC’s average tax is $1,577 — 33% lower. In case you’re wondering, Alaska is #1 at $7,145. Most Southeastern states are ranked in the 40-50 range.
$20 billion in tax cuts: South Carolina’s low tax burden is a direct result of the more than $20 billion in tax cuts that have passed since Republicans gained the majority in the House in 1995.
Tax reform under way: I have authored and filed legislation that would remove sales tax exemptions on all goods sold, except food, electricity, prescription drugs and durable medical goods. By eliminating all the exemptions except those four, the 7% current sales tax rate would be dropped in my legislation to 3.85%. Additionally, I am pleased to report that the Republican House Caucus is targeting state tax reform with the goal of introducing legislation next January. I’m honored to have been selected to serve on the “Caucus Tax Policy Advisory Committee.” Our goal is to review the current state tax codes and regulations and to make recommendations to the GOP Caucus regarding needed changes so tax reform can top the legislative agenda.
SC #1 for economic growth potential: Our state has recently been ranked No. 1 for “economic growth potential” by Business Facilities magazine. South Carolina also ranks No. 4 among all states for having the “best business climate.” See the full story at http://www.businessfacilities.com/Rankings/BFJulAug10_STATE_RANKINGS.PDF.
State budget approved job creation, debt repayment & education made top priorities: Both the House and Senate agreed yesterday on a $6 billion state budget plan (H. 3700) that provides public schools a whopping increase of more than 17% in their base student funding, makes allowances for school districts not receiving EFA portions of education funding and gives businesses an unemployment tax break. Most importantly, it focuses on debt repayment and saving money for the next rainy day. The measure is headed to Gov. Haley, who can use a line-item veto if she chooses. The legislature returns next week to vote on sustaining or overriding each of the governor’s vetoes.
Rep. Shannon S.Erickson, R-Beaufort, represents SC House District 124. She can be reached at 843-263-1867.