COLUMBIA, Jan. 13, 2014--South Carolina members of the National Federation of Independent Business want lawmakers to repeal the state tax on business-related personal property.
That's according to preliminary results of the NFIB/South Carolina 2014 Member Ballot, which also shows strong support for legislation that would give small businesses a choice of waste companies and allow only counties, not cities, to issue business licenses.
"Unlike other business groups, NFIB's agenda is set solely by its members, not by a board of directors, and the Member Ballot is a crucial part of that process," said Ben Homeyer, state director of NFIB/South Carolina, the state's largest small-business association, with 3,800 dues-paying members.
"We asked our members about the issues expected to come up in this year's legislative session, and their answers came through loud and clear," Homeyer said.
When asked whether the Legislature should repeal the state tax on business-related personal property, 82.2 percent said "yes," compared with 7.8 percent who said "no" and 10 percent who were undecided.
On the question of whether the Legislature should pass a bill allowing competition among waste-management companies in order to maintain free-market principles and give businesses a choice of service providers, 88.3 percent answered "yes," while 5 percent said "no" and 6.7 percent were undecided.
"Existing law allows local governments to require that all solid waste within their jurisdictions be managed at government-owned facilities," Homeyer said. "Our members think that sets a bad precedent, because it encourages government-owned monopolies and blocks competition from the private sector, which might be able to provide the same--or better--service for less money."
When asked whether the Legislature should change the rules so only counties, not cities, can issue business licenses, 59 percent said "yes," while 22.4 percent answered "no" and 18.4 percent were undecided.
"Our members don't think it's fair to force businesses to pay fees to different municipalities within the same county," Homeyer said. "When you do that, you create additional costs for small businesses and discourage growth, which is something South Carolina simply cannot afford."
The 120th South Carolina Legislature will convene on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and is scheduled to end on June 5.
Crossover deadline, the deadline for a bill clearing at least one chamber of the Legislature, is May 1. Bills that don't clear the House or Senate by May 1 will be dead for this year's session.
If you have questions about any issue affecting small business, contact Ben Homeyer at 803-429-9558 or ben.homeyer@NFIB.org.