The South Carolina Senate Finance Taxation System Review and Reform Subcommittee met Wednesday.
The committee met just two weeks after lawmakers approved changes to the tax code that would conform with new federal changes. The bill attempted to keep the status quo intact for as much as possible. But now, there is talk of making much larger changes.
Chairman State Sen. Sean Bennett, R-Dorchester, said overhauling the entire tax code is something that should be tackled in the next legislative session. “The discussions that we have on a more comprehensive reform package would require much more time than we had to commit to that during the conformity bill,” he said during a Wednesday meeting.
Co-chairman Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw, said that he wants to make sure that a tax overhaul is done right. “There are many places that there are room for improvement,” he said. “Although, for stability, I’m going to look for fairness. Those are broad concepts, but it’s how I try to weigh want we’re doing?”
It was the subcommittee’s first meeting Wednesday. There have been numerous attempts to revamp the state’s sales tax code over the years, with extremely limited success. Bennett called the current tax structure “broken” and said it needs to be updated to adapt to the current economy. Previous studies have found the state exempts more sales than it taxes in South Carolina, particularly since groceries, prescription medication and vehicles that cost more than $10,000 are exempt.