SC Legislative Update

By Ben Homeyer


Business License Reform

H 4431, the Business License reform act, was passed out of full Senate Finance this morning.  The bill requires 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.  While we were unable to make a change from gross to net collection the major reform changes should alleviate some costs to businesses but make the process far easier and cleaner.  Especially for those businesses that have multiple locations in multiple municipalities.

Senators Sheheen and Johnson have issues with keeping contractors from collecting business license fees.  Feels that small communities they represent need it because they can’t afford full time staff.  This is something we testified against in the House and have been discussing with Senators.  We have seen in other states that allow these percentage collections that is a nightmare.  If a third party collector is allowed to basically hunt for money and receive a percentage of the dollars that is detrimental to business.  We will work to keep the protection provision in the bill.  Sen. Sheheen plans to offer an amendment on the floor.  Senator Sheheen would like to allow the percentage or have the cities collect however they so choose.

The bill will go before the full senate next week.