March 8, 2018

Issues Forum Summary – March 2018

March 2018: An Update from the State House


Rep. Beth Bernstein (D) – Richland

Rep. Wendy Brawley (D) – Richland

Rep. Micah Caskey (R) – Lexington

Rep. Joe McEachern (D) – Richland


Members of the South Carolina House of Representatives discussed several topics that are key to the Chamber’s 2018 Public Policy Agenda. The Base Load Review Act dominated discussions with panelists agreeing that the base rate cases need to be heard and costs for rate payers need to be reduced. Business licensing continued to be a volatile issue as legislators work to determine a uniform approach to managing business licensing procedures and determine the appropriate agency to manage the administrative process. Highlights from the discussion include Act 388 and the need for government to ensure that services are provided without local businesses paying an extravagant portion of the costs; the House tax study committee’s favorable report on a proposal legislation that would cut the state’s income tax rate from 7 percent to 4.85 percent and eliminate all deductions; and the elimination of taxes on military retirement pay in order to retain military talent. The panel concluded by stating as this is the second year of a two-year legislative session, it is highly unlikely that bills will be finalized and shared between the House and the Senate by the cross over date.

Throughout the year, you can expect the Columbia Chamber to:

  1. Continue to monitor the current legislative session and keep Chamber Partners apprised of the impact on the business community.
  2. Support efforts to highlight the extremely high rates of taxes paid by South Carolina and Richland County businesses.
  3. Continue to advocate for elimination of military retirement income tax.
  4. Work with the Business-Friendly Task Force, City and County, to identify improvements in the business licensing process such that we encourage growth which creates new jobs and increases our tax base thereby redistributing the burden to the cost of doing business.
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