Sen. Katrina Shealy prefiles bill to eliminate state income tax - - Columbia, South Carolina

Sen. Katrina Shealy prefiles bill to eliminate state income tax


State Sen. Katrina Shealy has prefiled a bill to reduce the state's income tax structure by 1.4 percent every year until the tax is eliminated. 

Shealy announced the bill in a news release sent out Tuesday morning, claiming states with no income tax structure are "booming economically" and that her bill would "ease the burdens South Carolina families may be facing in these tough times."

Eliminating the state's income tax means state government would lose $560 million in revenues in the first year, but the state's residents would save that amount. Estimates also indicate the state would lose over $3 billion if this bill is given approval by Gov. Nikki Haley.

Some lawmakers, like Sen. Thomas McElveen, say that's a problem.

"It's a three-legged stool with income tax, property tax and sales tax, and with sales tax falling off during the recession -- and Act 388 doing what its done to property taxes -- I think we gotta look at the whole thing," said McElveen.

Shealy says it's doable, but it will require some sacrifice.

"I know people are going to say, 'How are you going to come up with that kind of money?' If each cabinet were to do 9 nine percent decrease, you can find that kind of money," said Shealy. "We waste a lot of money."

According to Haley, eliminating the tax would give the state a competitive edge and grow the state's economy.

"The interesting thing is, the legislature always says, 'I don't hear anyone talking about state income tax.' Well, talk to CEOs across the country because that's all they're talking to me about. We just have to keep our eye on the ball and looking at other states to make sure we're better," said Haley.

State legislators return to Columbia for the 2014 session on Jan. 14.

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