Gov. Nikki Haley wants the state to analyze the impact of local governments have on potential businesses by their public infrastructure, taxes and regulation. To achieve that, on Wednesday she announced the creation of the Local Government Competitiveness Council.
“We are very excited about this Competitiveness Council, and they’re going to start getting to work right away,” Haley said in a press conference Wednesday shortly after announcing the new executive order.
“What we really hope our end goal is that once we come out with this report and we talk to the counties about it, when they go to decide something for that county, they will know whether they need to vote for that extra fee and whether they should be increasing taxes or decreasing taxes” Haley said.
The council will evaluate local governments based on three general categories and will be made up of business leaders with expertise in each of those areas. The body will be led by state Department of Revenue Director Rick Reames. The group will report its findings and recommendations to the governor at the end of their work.
Haley said they will have a toolkit to let them know how they can improve the climate for the business community, particularly any companies being recruited to the area for new plants or other expansions.
The members of the new committee are:
Public Infrastructure: Keller Kissam – Senior Vice President of SCANA Corporation, Deepal S. Eliatamby – President of Alliance Consulting Engineers, Inc., and Bob Hughes – President of Hughes Development Corporation.
Taxes, Business and Industry, and Regulation: Burnet R. Maybank III – Attorney for Nexsen Pruet, Dr. Rebecca Gunnlaugsson – Economist at Acuitas Economics, and Suzanne Pucci – Owner of Stanley Steemer of Columbia.
Workforce Readiness: Dr. Barrie B. Kirk – VP of Corporate and Continuing Education and Economic Development for Midlands Technical College, Kim Phillips – HR Director at Hamrick Mills, Helen Hill – CEO of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dr. Rebecca Gunnlaugsson – Economist, Acuitas Economics.