Tax millage bill goes to finance committee

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By Stan Welch
The authority and opportunity for several dozen small towns in South Carolina to establish and administer a tax structure continues to loom in the future. Legislation has been introduced and has survived the first challenge by making it out of subcommittee to the full finance committee of the S.C. Senate. The House Ways and Means Committee has since followed suit.
The full finance committee of the Senate and the counterpart committee of the House will work to craft an agreement to present to the full General Assembly for a vote. If approved, the law will allow Pelzer, as well as more than sixty other municipalities in the state, to establish an operating millage on January 1, 2019; or a municipality that incorporates after January 1, 2019, may impose an operating millage.
A House Ways & Means subcommittee adopted an amendment to “restrict” a first-time municipal millage imposition to 33 percent of the municipality’s previous year’s operating budget. If the municipality previously imposed a millage, but repealed it, then it can re-impose the previous millage with retroactive increases subject to each year’s millage cap backdated to 2007 or to the date the  previous millage was repealed, whichever is most recent.
The subcommittee gave H. 3457 a favorable report as amended.