Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley said she wants to eliminate corporate income taxes, streamline state and local permitting and privatize the state's job placement efforts, all part of a plan to encourage business growth.
Haley announced her plan, the first major policy proposal of the general election campaign, after a tour of Columbia printing firm Spectra Integration. The Lexington County state representative said she would cut taxes and reduce government hurdles for business owners.
"The first thing we want to do is eliminate the corporate income tax," Haley said. "To be able to say we are a right-to-work state and a no-corporate-income-tax state is going to cause businesses to want to come, and it will create jobs in the process."
South Carolina collected $147 million in corporate income tax during the budget year that ended June 30, according to the Board of Economic Advisors. The tax is 2.7 percent of the state's $5.5 billion gross revenues. The S.C. House approved eliminating the tax over a 10-year period, but the S.C. Senate removed the proposal because of concerns about declining revenue.
Both Haley and Democratic opponent Vincent Sheheen have been competing for the votes, support and campaign contributions of the business community. Also on the ballot is Irmo businessman Morgan Reeves, the Green and United Citizens parties' candidate.
Haley's plan includes portions of the agenda of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce — which endorsed Sheheen — including eliminating the corporate income tax, tort reform and boosting Department of Commerce efforts. Haley also supports incentives to draw low-cost airfares and would appoint more businesspeople to the state boards that make regulation decisions.
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