SC Senate unanimously passes income tax cut and refund – WSOC TV
COLUMBIA, SC — The South Carolina Senate unanimously passed a $2 billion income tax reduction and refund bill, setting in motion what will likely be intense negotiations with the House on the $1 billion tax cut passed last month.
Thursday’s vote came just three weeks after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Harvey Peeler first proposed the cut.
Proposal would send a rebate of at least $100 to everyone who files a South Carolina tax return, whether or not they pay taxes. Taxpayers who owe state income tax would recover that amount in 2022 up to $700. It would cost about $1 billion.
The other $1 billion would be used to cut the state’s top tax rate from 7% to 5.7%, reduce property taxes paid by most manufacturers from 9% to 6%, and completely eliminate taxes on military retirement income.
Peeler has long had a goal of lowering taxes. He was blessed when he took over the committee in December to have a combination of a booming economy, federal stimulus money and savings in case the COVID-19 economic downturn was catastrophic. All of this left a windfall of $4.5 billion in state bank accounts.
Peeler was soaking up the moment as every senator cast a ‘yes’ vote on Thursday’s roll call that he nearly missed the chance to vote for himself.
“I’m like a dog playing poker. When I get a good hand, my tail starts wagging,” said Peeler, a Republican from Gaffney.
Senators applauded Peeler after the vote.
After another routine approval, the bill heads to the House, which has already passed its own set of tax cuts which includes exemption from military income tax and reduces the top tax rate from 7% to 6.5% next year and continues to reduce it to 6% over five years. It also cuts all other tax brackets to the lowest group at 3%, costing about $600 million in the first year and $1 billion when fully implemented.
Chances are neither chamber will agree to the other’s plan, so a small group of lawmakers will negotiate the differences, likely as they also craft the state’s $14 billion budget later. in spring.
Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey has left no doubt as to which version he believes should prevail.
“I like that he does everything at the same time. You mean it,” the Edgefield Republican said of Peeler’s plan. “We have the resources. Let’s do it.
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