The Buzz

Taxed too little? Too much? Legislators to review SC tax code

S.C. legislators will review state tax laws, including whether to propose changes in the taxes paid by residents.

The 14-member panel will look at the state’s income, sales and property taxes.

“Our outdated tax code needs a dramatic transformation in order to promote economic competitiveness and increase the size of our citizens’ paychecks,” S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, said in a statement.

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A broader, flatter tax code would spur job growth and provide greater opportunities for S.C. families, Lucas said.

Many, including S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, criticize South Carolina’s top income tax bracket — 7 percent — as being too high. However, because of the state’s income tax exemptions, most S.C. residents end up paying lower income taxes than residents of neighboring states.

The study committee is to report its findings before the start of the January legislative session.

S.C. taxes have been studied repeatedly.

In 2010, for example, a commission recommended repealing, amending or modifying more than 60 of the state’s 80-plus tax exemptions, which cut state revenues by $3 billion a year. Legislators never acted on those recommendations.

S.C. House Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope, R-York, will chair the committee.