The Uber Bill; Addressing Road Funding and Income Tax Cuts; Internet Sales Tax Reform
1. The SC Transportation Companies Act (“the Uber Bill”), S. 409, received a favorable report in a Senate Transportation subcommittee last week. Members of the subcommittee voted in favor of the proposal after the Property Casualty Insurance of America Association reassured members that companies would continue to offer insurance coverage. Several weeks ago, the Public Service Commission gave Uber permission to operate until June. Legislators are working to create a permanent law allowing insurance companies to cover Uber and exempt it from the types of regulations that traditional taxi companies must face.
2. Earlier this year, Governor Haley unveiled a plan to fund transportation and infrastructure projects. Her plan included a 10 cent increase on fuel tax if there was simultaneously a 30% reduction of state income tax over the next ten years. Last week, the Senate Finance Special Subcommittee on Transportation talked about the various legislative measures to address road funding. Senators agreed that this was the top priority for this Legislative Session. Senators discussed the possibility of a 4 cent increase for 3 years to generate $437 million. Senators also adopted a new driver’s license fee that would increase from $12.50 to $25 over a 5 year period generating $10.6 million annually. South Carolina has one of the lowest fuel tax rates in the nation at 16.75 cents-on-the-gallon. Meanwhile, Representative Brian White introduced a bill that would cut individual state income taxes. That bill, 3878, will be debated in a House subcommittee this week.
3. The members of the Senate Finance Committee have given a favorable report to 170, the Internet Sales Tax bill. The bill would require internet retailers in South Carolina to obtain a retail license and would also provide additional reporting and enforcement mechanisms. The bill would extend the exemption for Amazon.com to January 1, 2016. Rick Reames, the Director the Department of Revenue, said the bill would not impact all e-retailers and noted that anyone who uses an e-retailer is already supposed to be reporting this tax. However, Senate Finance Chairman, Hugh Leatherman, stated that the Board of Economic Advisers indicated a $100 million loss in tax revenue due to non-compliance from e-retailer reporting.
For more information on these issues, you may contact Ashley at email@example.com. MPA also publishes a one-of-a-kind monthly publication, The SC Purchasing & Procurement Digest, geared towards locating project funding from federal, state, and corporate resources. MPA’s latest endeavor, Peplum & Politics, is a blog focused on SC fashion and political happenings.