SCEDA’s Main Priority Passes Legislature

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

After a long session of hard work and strategic planning from many individuals in SCEDA, other associations and members in the Legislature, SCEDA’s bill that expands the scope of job development credits pertaining to professional jobs passed the Legislature this week.  This legislation was a partnership with the SC Department of Agriculture, as it also includes language to incentivize agribusiness in South Carolina.  The bill now heads to the Governor for his consideration.  He has five days upon receipt of the bill to sign, veto or leave unsigned, which has the same effect as signing the bill.

Last year, the bill, originally S.404, which was introduced by Sen. Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley) and co-sponsored by Sens. Reese (D-Spartanburg), Williams (D-Marion), Gregory (R-Lancaster) and Timmons (R-Greenville), passed the Senate 41 to 1 and was sent to the House.  Because of political circumstances beyond the merits of the bill, S.404 remained in committee and had little chance of advancing.

Knowing that, the SCEDA team went to work to find another vehicle.  Late this year, S.1043, originally a bill that deals with abandoned buildings was identified as a vehicle.  Last month, S.1043 was amended on the Senate floor with the SCEDA language, subsequently passed the Senate and then sent to a conference committee in the House.  Over the last month, SCEDA members and lobbyists discussed the importance of SCEDA’s section with members of the conference committee.

This week, the conference committee, which was made up of Senators Reese (D-Spartanburg), Grooms (R-Berkeley) and Talley (R-Spartanburg) and Representatives Simrill (R-York), Cole (R-Spartanburg), and Rutherford (D-Richland), approved our section (it is important to note that most sections that were added to S.1043 were deleted) and it was included in the conference report.  The Senate and House adopted the conference report, meaning the bill officially passed the Legislature.

S.1043 will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration.  SCEDA lobbyists will continue to discuss the bill with the Governor’s office over the next few days to gain his support.

Here is a summary of the SCEDA/AG portion of S.1043:

Incentives for Professional Services / Office Jobs:

  • Makes modifications to the State’s primary discretionary incentive, Job Development Credits, for professional services/office jobs.

  • Reduces job and wage thresholds applicable to qualified service-related facilities for the highest three tiers:

    • 125 jobs (down from 175) at a single location;

    • 100 jobs (down from 150) at a single location comprised of a building that has been vacant for at least 12 consecutive months; and

    • 75 jobs (down from 100) at a single location that pay more than 1½ times the lower of the state per capita income or per capita income in that county.

  • Allows businesses engaged in legal, accounting, banking, or investment services to apply for JDCs (Per the discretion of the Coordinating Council).

  • Allows businesses engaged in retail sales to apply for JDCs as long as retail sales are not actually conducted at the facility  (Per the discretion of the Coordinating Council). 

  • Suggests the Coordinating Council consider these factors in making a determination for qualification:

    • The percentage of the businesses’ annual gross receipts derived from outside of South Carolina for the previous 12 months and such percentage must not be less than 75 %;

    • The nature and the wages of the new jobs created;

    • The capital investment of the project; and

    • The potential for expansion or growth of the business or industry.

Incentives for Agriculture Operations 

  • Provides a tax credit program for agribusinesses that is mirrored after the Port Tax Credit Program.

  • Allows an agribusiness operation or agricultural packaging operation that increases purchases that are certified as South Carolina grown by a minimum of 15% in a year to claim an income tax credit or employee withholding credit in an amount determined by the Coordinating Council.

  • Products must be approved by the SC Dept. of Agriculture as Certified SC Grown.

  • Maximum amount phased in over a four-year period:

    • 2017 – $500,000

    • 2018 – $1,000,000

    • 2019 – $1,500,000

    • 2020 – $2,000,000

  • The Coordinating Council has sole discretion in allocating the credits.

  • The base year total dollar purchases that are certified as South Carolina grown must exceed $100,000 for a taxpayer to be eligible.

Click here to read the full version of the bill.