2019 Session Review
I. H. 4431 -Business License Reform
Sponsor: Representative Jay Jordan (R-Florence) Co-Sponsors: Reps. Fry, Rose, Atkinson, Forrest, Anderson, Hyde, B. Cox, Elliott, Morgan, and B. Newton.

The HBASC and our trade association partners have worked for years to improve the business license environment in South Carolina. Our members have expressed significant concerns with the current system, and approved this issue as the HBASC’s number one priority this session. Rep. Jay Jordan from Florence introduced H. 4431 that includes many changes to the current business license tax system that provides more than $300 million annually to county and local municipalities. This bill would help provide responsible reform to a fee that continues to grow an average of almost 5% yearly and silently cost every S. C household more than $500 a year.

II. H. 3596 -Roll Back Taxes

Sponsor: Representative Steven Long (R-Spartenburg) Co-Sponsors: Reps. Erickson, Clemmons, Bales, Fry, Loftis, Burns, Hewitt, Bannister, Forrester, Herbkersman, Huggins, Lowe, D. C. Moss, B. Newton, W. Newton, Pope, Robinson, Sandifer, Simrill, G. M. Smith, G. R. Smith, Tallon, Toole, Trantham, Johnson, V. S. Moss, Stringer, Willis, Bailey, Elliott, B. Cox, Magnuson, Clary, Hixon, Martin, Davis, Mace, Kimmons, Bennett, Bradley, Jordan, Finlay, Gagnon, McDaniel, Danning, Allison, Collins, McCoy, Atkinson, Hayes, Kirby, Wooten, Ballentine, Caskey, McCravy, Gilliam, Hill, Chellis, Crawford, Taylor, Young, Weeks, Yow, Whitmire, Hosey, Clyburn, Brown, Govan, Moore, and Henderson-Meyers

(Similar to S. 122)

Currently land classified for agriculture use receives special tax breaks but when this land is converted to residential or commercial usage the new owner is forced to pay roll-back taxes. The newly acquired or reclassified property is then taxed based upon the full value previously determined by the county, and five years of “roll-back” taxes are due. Rep. Steven Long (R-Spartanburg) and Senator Shane Massey (R-Aiken, Edgefield, Lexington, Saluda and McCormick) have introduced legislation that would limit the roll-back tax penalty to one year instead of the last five years when converting agriculture property to residential or commercial use.

Status: This bill was passed out of the house after being amended to take roll back taxes to three years after a one year period. We plan to work with the Senate in 2020 to amend this bill back to it’s original form. Rollback taxes are a windfall for county governments so this bill would not take away any money that they include in their budgeting process.