Proposed South Carolina bill gives school districts new tax option

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A bill that would give more school districts the option of collecting a 1-cent sales tax for construction projects would offer some needed flexibility to the districts.

The proposed bill, sponsored by state Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, would allow school boards to ask voters to approve a 1-cent tax increase to pay for new education buildings. Under current law, the county where a school district operates must raise $7 million or more in accommodations taxes, imposed on vacation and other temporary rental properties, before it can ask voters to approve the sales tax for education.

As of now, only two counties – Horry and Charleston – have used that option to collect the 1-cent tax. The tax can be imposed for no more than 15 years before voters must be asked to reauthorize it.

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