The State newspaper is reporting that the 10-member Tax Realignment Commission is unanimously recommending massive tax increases on everything from gasoline, to water and electricity, as well as eliminating the sales tax exemption on groceries.
The panel is proposing to increase SC gasoline tax to 21 cents per gallon, adding an additional 1.5% state tax on water and electricity rates, in addition to reinstating a 3% sales tax on groceries.
The panel is also proposing to eliminate tax exemptions on more than 120 services, including services such as hair cuts and computer repairs. These new tax hikes are projected to increase state revenue by $2.8 billion per year.
Considering the strength of the Tea Party movement in South Carolina, many legislators are wary of increasing taxes, especially in the midst of an economic recession, so it remains to be seen how many of these proposed new tax increases will actually become law.
Many critics of the new tax proposals are wondering why legislators aren’t seeking to cut spending instead of raising taxes.