The SC House passed an economic development package on a 105-9 vote Thursday that would eliminate corporate income taxes over a ten-year period. The measure was amended so that it won’t go into affect for two years, on the idea that the economy will be better after that time.
Orangeburg County Democrat Gilda Cobb-Hunter called it “corporate welfare.” She said that now is no time to plan on taking more funds away from state government, since the House plans to cut $104 million from agencies this year and next year may be worst.
Richland County Democrat Joe Neal said the bill has good intentions but is deeply flawed. The typical chatter around the floor of the House became curiously quiet when Neal referred to the corporate tax break as a gamble.
(Neal on business tax MP3 6:07)
Neal on business tax
Neal said that Ways and Means Committee members just made deep cuts, across the board, just as all House members will soon have to do. He said eliminating the corporate tax will be bad news for the people of the state who end up with their services cut.
Bamberg County Democrat Bakari Sellers moved to postpone debate on the bill until next week, saying that the package was a lot to take in. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Cooper introduced the legislation. He accused Sellers of trying to stall the legislation.
Democrats tried unsuccessfully to amend the package to add tax breaks for small businesses.
The package also includes other development incentives.