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May 12, 2015   Chamber Website Facebook Twitter YouTube

Senate Republicans Release Infrastructure Plan


After failing to set an infrastructure funding bill for debate, the Senate Republican Caucus asked business leaders to be patient as they were working on a proposal. Last Thursday, 18 senators stood together to release their proposal, which has three parts: highway funding, income tax reduction and South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) reform. The proposal was released during a press conference led by Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler (Cherokee) who said, “The key elements of our plan are reforming and modernizing the DOT, establishing solid long-term funding to make our roads safe and a tax cut plan that makes South Carolina more competitive.”
The Senate Republican Caucus plan would ultimately provide $800 million in additional recurring revenue using diverse means, including an increase in the gasoline tax by 4 cents per year for three years (12 cents total), increasing the $300 sales tax cap on vehicles to $600, raising driver’s license fees and car registration fees, instituting a fee for hybrid/electric vehicles and implementing a road user fee for commercial vehicles over 26,000 lbs. Hear details of the plan from Senate Ray Cleary (Georgetown).
The plan also reforms the governance of the South Carolina Department of Transportation, enabling the governor to nominate the members of the SCDOT Commission. The Secretary of Transportation would nominate the SCDOT Secretary. Both the Commissioners and Secretary would go through the same screening and confirmation process, and SCDOT Commissioners would still represent each congressional district. Hear from Senator Larry Grooms (Berkeley).
The plan also cuts income taxes by 1 percent across all brackets. The cut would be phased-in over five years with a circuit breaker in years when state revenue does not meet expectations. Hear from Senator Sean Bennett (Dorchester).

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New Study: Business license fee structure hurts economy

Members of South Carolina’s business community joined several members of the House to unveil an economic analysis that reveals problems with the current structure of the business license tax in the Palmetto State. Hear from Hal Stevenson, owner of Grace Outdoor, on small business struggles with business license fee complexities.
Dr. Russell Sobel, professor of economics at The Citadel, authored the study that concludes the current system is damaging South Carolina’s economy and local governments. He underscores the need for reform of the current business licensing structure to promote fairness and consistency among all sectors of the business community.
Under current laws, businesses must apply for and receive a license for almost every municipality and county where they work. For example, a single small business that is a local service provider in a metro area, like Charleston or Columbia, could be required to have as many as 30 different business licenses to serve the area.

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Last Chance to Register foR Environmental And Energy Forum

Join the conversation at the 2015 Environmental & Energy Forum, presented by SCE&G, a SCANA Company, where the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce asks the tough questions about the environment and the energy sector. Whether its nuclear energy, offshore drilling or waste disposal, some South Carolinians see these topics as the answer and some see them as the problem. Either way, we want to have a dialogue. Meet panelists from all walks of life at the third forum in the Competitiveness Agenda Series. Register today!

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Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available starting at just $500. For event sponsorship inquiries, please contact Sunny Philips at 803.255.2543.

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seeking Manufacturing, HR and Diversity awards applicants

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s 2nd Annual Palmetto Vision Awards honor those who have made significant contributions in the fields of manufacturing, diversity and human resources. The Palmetto Vision Awards Gala, set for September 10 in Columbia, will honor these companies.

We are currently seeking red carpet worthy companies and individuals who are interested in applying for the awards. Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged. Please complete the information below:

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW ONLINE (deadline to submit applications is June 19, 5:00 p.m.):

For additional sponsorship and/or application information, please contact Tish Anderson at 803.255.2627. The exclusive and premier Presenting Sponsorship is still available for the Gala.

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