Lawmakers propose bill to remove sales tax exemptions

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) South Carolina lawmakers have proposed to add sales tax to a variety of items such as lottery tickets, textbooks and newspapers, items that are currently not taxed.

The bill's sponsors said the bill would be an effort to reduce the state's overall sales tax. If passed, the bill would lower the current overall sales tax by approximately half a penny.

South Carolina House lawmakers introduced the bill in March. It is expected to move to a subcommittee in the next few days. The bill would eliminate two-thirds of sales tax exemptions, said to be worth $260 million a year.

Sales tax would not be added to items such as groceries, medication, electricity and water service.

WMBF News Reporter Monique Blair talked to the Myrtle Beach community and received reactions to the proposed bill.

"I think they're making enough money as it is, why push it? Besides we people don't have that money to keep on paying taxes on everything," Lottery player Charles Puff said.

"I would not play the lotto no more. I put so many people to school playing them tickets for the last 5 or 6 years," Self-described lottery addict Thomas Tillery said.

Store owner of Save Mart gas station, Peter Patel said it might affect his business, but it's necessary for the government to get out of debt.

"I think it's definitely going to impact the business and customers are not going to appreciate that because they have been so used to not paying taxes on certain things. We are broke, so we got to find a way to make tax and let the government run," Patel said.

The bill is in the beginning stages. If passed, changes would not be made to the current $300 sales tax cap on vehicles, campers, boats and airplanes.

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