The South Carolina House Republican Caucus
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House GOP Approves Comprehensive Tax Reform
April 24, 2012


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Rep. Tommy Stringer
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House GOP Approves Comprehensive Tax Reform

Three bills reform income and sales taxes statewide; two passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday

COLUMBIA – The House approved two of three pieces of the Republican Caucus’ comprehensive tax reform package Tuesday. Both bills were passed by wide, bi-partisan margins.

“As I’ve said before: This is tax reform in support of a key part of our Republican platform’s call to ‘support a tax policy designed to help the economy grow, not stunt the taxpayer,’” said Rep. Tommy Stringer, R-Greer, the chairman of the Caucus’ tax study committee. “I am here to work on behalf of the taxpayer. The two bills approved today lower and flatten our income tax and help tens of thousands of small business owners and self-employed South Carolinians.”

The package that came to the floor this week consisted of three major reforms. The first two were approved Tuesday. A third is currently on the House calendar for debate this week.

1)    Slash small business “active income”. This legislation slashes the business income entrepreneurs report on their personal tax forms from 5 percent to 3 percent so they can invest in, and grow, their businesses. This should lower the tax paid on these returns by about $1,000. This directly helps thousands of South Carolina families who either own small business or are self-employed. This reform will be implemented over 4 years.

2)    Flatten the income tax. We collapse our five tax brackets (3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 percent) to two (3.75 percent and 7 percent), which makes the tax code more coherent while giving all South Carolinians a tax cut or no change in their liability. Those in the current 3 percent bracket will be held harmless so their taxes do not increase.

3)    Eliminate nearly two dozen special interest sales tax exemptions while preserving the ones that benefit families (gasoline, food, electricity, water, medicine). This is achieved with a corresponding sales tax rate decrease to offset the increased revenue collections.

“This is the first step in a long process, and we took a major step today in simplifying our tax code for individuals and helping small business owners across our state,” said Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington. “This is not random tax tinkering. This is direct relief to our communities and our neighbors. Today’s action is clear action in supporting the Republican Platform’s call to create “a Tax Policy which promotes prosperity.’”

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