Plan would eliminate many sales tax exemptions
State Rep. Jenny Horne, R-Dorchester, unveiled Wednesday her plan to raise $2 billion for schools and roads by removing some of the state's sales tax exemptions.
Horne said her plan could address the Supreme Court's ruling in a lawsuit that said the state is not doing enough for rural schools.
Her plan would also streamline education funding and distribute money to S.C. schools based on student population.
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Of the roughly $1 billion raised for schools under her plan, $600 million would be spent on property tax relief and about $400 million would go to schools.
The plan is paid for by removing many of the state’s more than $3 billion in sales-tax exemptions, including exemptions on medicine, postage and hearing aids. That is bound to bring opposition. Horne said some exemptions may be worth keeping.
Similar plans filed since 2012 have gone nowhere.
Cost of body cameras concern some in law enforcement
Some law officers say they have concerns about a bill to require all S.C. police officers to wear body cameras.
A state Senate panel Wednesday heard testimony from several members of the law enforcement community.
The bill would make it mandatory for all S.C. law enforcement officers to wear the cameras. Officers would have to tell people they are wearing them and everything recorded would be retained under the policies of local law agencies.
Some officers are concerned about the cost.
Michael Nunn of the Florence County Sheriff’s Department says buying cameras would cost his agency more than $300,000 and that doesn’t include the cost of storing data.
Senators want to hear more testimony before taking any action on the bill.
House approves giving counties, cities less money
The S.C. House has given key approval to a bill that would alter the formula the state uses to provide money to local governments for things like Social Services, courts and libraries.
The House on Wednesday passed changes to a 1991 formula that the Legislature has not fully funded in seven years.
Bill supporters say the formula was an antiquated relic, based on money the state collected from the previous budget year.
The new formula is based on the current budget year. But it also gives the fund about what it is paying now, instead of the 4.5 percent of last year’s general fund budget mandated by the 1991 law. Counties opposed the bill, saying they need all the money promised.
The bill now will move to the Senate.
Cassie Cope, Associated Press