Panel looks to add state taxes to groceries, electric bills

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Taxes in South Carolina are one step closer to some big changes.

The Tax Realignment Commission proposed decreasing overall state tax but removing some items from the current exemption, like groceries, electric bills, and water bills.

Wednesday, the commission endorsed a plan that would drop the overall state sales tax by one cent on the dollar, changing it from 6 cents to 4.96.

The changes are expected to collect the same amount overall by dropping the rate, but also increasing the number of goods taxed.

The panel is also recommending taxes for music downloads and other purchases online.

The panel will take final action on the proposals later this year.

However, some families, aren't too welcoming of a new tax, especially where it can hurt the most, like in groceries, and their electric and water bills.

Beth Goff is married with two children and says the increased tax would be tough to handle.

"That affects our bills and what we can and cannot buy, and I'm not happy about it, I wouldn't like it at all," said Goff.

She is a budget-conscious mom, who keeps a detailed list of everything she buys. If the new taxes are put into place, groceries she buys would go up by about five cents on the dollar.

"I think raising taxes, raising it at all is gonna be difficult for the average family cause right now, you know, we're barely making it, we're barely getting by month to month, and any extra, if it's 10 dollars a month or 50 dollars a month, it's gonna be a huge impact on us," Goff explained.

However, these changes are far from becoming a reality. They are just proposals right now, and still have to work their way through the Statehouse.

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