Haley says state Senate must cut more taxes

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley is demanding that South Carolina state senators cut more taxes.

The Republican governor said Tuesday the Senate needs to include in its 2012-13 spending plan a reduction in personal income taxes.

Haley criticized the Senate as the chamber opened floor debate on the Finance Committee's budget proposal.

"The House never gets the money tree, but the Senate always gets the money tree and when that money tree falls, it is like a pack of wolves on steak and I'm telling you, that steak belongs to the taxpayers," Haley said. "That's what I'm trying to tell them is that you can't go and do this. This is not okay. They have a moral obligation to understand where this money comes from."

Haley says she appreciates that the plan incorporates a bill reducing taxes paid by small business owners. That 4-year phase-in is expected to reduce revenue by $15 million next year. But Haley insists the Senate include a second tax-cutting bill. The bill as passed by the House last month doesn't take effect until 2013, but Haley says the $78 million should be set aside now.

Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman says the budget already includes $752 million in tax relief.

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