Gov. Nikki Haley has signed into law a bill to let voters decide whether to self-impose up to an additional two-cent sales tax slated for education improvements. The bill requires those counties choosing to exercise the local option to hold a ballot referendum at the time of the general election.
Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, held a five-hour-long filibuster last Thursday. That hold-up ended just 90 minutes before the Senate was scheduled to adjourn for the year after supporters gathered enough votes to end the filibuster. Senators approved the measure, which was a compromise by a committee of House members and Senators, 35 to 5.
The tax increase can be imposed for no more than 10 years, and at least 10 percent of its revenues must be used for property tax relief.
In a bill-signing statement Haley wrote, “I signed this bill because it lets the voters decide for themselves how they would like their local tax structure to look. Local tax questions like these should be submitted to the public through referendum, as this bill requires.”
Haley wrote that she hopes those affected by the bill would reject the tax increase, as a complex tax code and higher rates impede a growing economy.