SC House Passes H.4431- Business License Tax Reform Act

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, February 27th, 2020

The SC House of Representatives gave H.4431, the Business License Tax (BLT) Reform Act a crucial second reading. The Act, sponsored by Rep. Jay Jordan, passed unanimously (104-0) and will move to the Senate after an anticipated third reading tomorrow.

Earlier this session, a special House Labor, Commerce and Industry (LCI) subcommittee gave a favorable report to the bill after receiving testimony from a long list of business owners and groups of varied specialties and sizes. H.4431 was then passed unanimously by the full House LCI Committee last Tuesday.

For nearly a decade, the SC Chamber’s Small Business Council has been advocating for a bill that standardizes the business license tax system across all cities, and creates a state-run central portal for businesses to apply and pay for their licenses. The current system is complex, costly, and lacks transparency.

H.4431 brings much-needed reform to the system. This comprehensive reform bill makes major changes to the system, including requiring a standard application form, renewal date, appeals procedure, and class schedules, along with creating a central online payment portal administered by a governmental agency, ensuring taxpayer data remains protected.

“We commend and thank the South Carolina House of Representatives, Speaker Lucas, Chairman Sandifer, and sponsor Representative Jay Jordan for making H.4431 a priority and putting in the work to get this bill passed,” said Ted Pitts, President and CEO of the Chamber. “This bill will help our state’s small businesses by reforming the state’s burdensome and complex business license tax system. We now call on the Senate to take up and pass this important piece of legislation.”