January 16, 2006

South Carolina: The State Makes Sense

South Carolina legislators in both houses have been grappling with how to lessen the property tax burden on South Carolinians. In an attempt to make the tax system more fair most legislators have decided to "throw the baby out with the bath water." Instead of looking at targeted ways to provide property tax relief for those who most need it - there is talk of a massive upheaval taking place. This upheaval is a type of tax swap, which basically eliminates property tax and replaces those lost revenues with increased sales taxes.

The State (South Carolina's major newspaper), published a very good, common sense explanation in Sunday's paper as to why the unfairness inherent in this "tax swap" in not the way to fix South Carolina's tax structure.

Eliminating property tax and replacing it with sales taxes may seem fair and an easy way to balance the state's tax system. However, as this editorial notes when fixing a tax structure the question should not be about whether proposals are popular with the public, but if these plans do more harm then good.

As currently proposed, the tax swaps in both the House and Senate most certainly do more harm than good. Legislators should go back to the drawing board and introduce tax a plan that inroduces fairness, adquacy, and stability into South Carolina's tax structure.


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