A four-year-old tax law is still being debated in and around the Statehouse. Act 388 cut property taxes for schools, added a penny sales tax and allows taxes to be reassessed each time certain real estate is sold.
On the first day in the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman clarified that commission that is currently examining the state tax code, called the TRAC commission will not be looking at Act 388. “I’m receiving some reports that they (TRAC) are talking about looking at Act 388–they are not. The legislation prohibits looking at ACt 388, make sure there’s no misunderstanding,” says Leatherman.
However, Senator Larry Martin and a bipartisan group of senators have co-sponsored H.3272 to cap and adjust this point-of-sale tax on real estate. It has already passed the House.
Nick Kremydas and about 300 other realtors crowded the statehouse Wednesday, to support this new look at the current law.”When an investor is looking at a second home or opening a business, or a homeowner is trying to sell their home, point-of-sale is putting downward pressure on prices, on equity; it’s turning investment away. North Carolina doesn’t have point-of-sale and if you’re looking at the maximum return on your investment dollars, you’re not looking at South Carolina,” Kremydas says.
Kremydas is the CEO of the South Carolina Association of Realtors. He says the point-of-sale tax affects more that just realtors:”There are homebuilders,there are homeowners, bankers,every aspect of the business community is affected by this. This is an issue I think that is going to unite South Carolina so that we can be competitive again and not fall behind other states in our region as the economy starts to rebound.”
The tax has provided money to local governments who have been hit hard by budget cuts and the economy.