Support for Conformity by State’s GOP Primary Voters is 92%

Among the non-binding questions appearing on party ballots in Tuesday’s primary, Republican voters were asked, “Do you believe that South Carolina’s tax code should be brought into conformity with the new Trump tax cuts in the federal tax code for maximum simplification and to lower the overall tax burden on South Carolina taxpayers and businesses?” The response was Yes by 92% of voters. On the Democrat ballot, a question about passing a state law requiring the governor to accept all federal revenues available for Medicaid and Medicaid expansion was supported Yes by an estimated 93% of those polled.

Clemson Welcomes Stanford’s York as Dean of College of Business

Wendy York, associate dean at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, is the new dean of the Clemson University College of Business. For the past five years, she has led a centralized faculty research support services called the Centers and Initiatives for Research, Curriculum and Learning Experiences (CIRCLE). Her background includes more than 20 years in for-profit and nonprofit businesses and more than five years as a venture capitalist, where she managed a private portfolio with a market capitalization of $100 million. Of four early stage technology and internet companies she started, she founded a database marketing company that was bought by a national advertising agency. She will start work in the Upstate in July. York, who earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School, will also be a tenured faculty member in the Clemson marketing department.

Medical Technology Company Becton Dickson Announces $150M for its Sumter Co. Plant, 125 New Jobs

Medical technology firm Becton, Dickinson and Company will spend $150 million to improve its Sumter County facility and 125 jobs are on the way, per a governor’s office announcement. BD, the globe’s ninth-largest medical device company with nearly 42,000 employees and $12.1 billion in revenue for 2017, has been in South Carolina for about 40 years and is one of Sumter County’s largest employers. A $600,000 grant for road work and site preparation will come from The Coordinating Council for Economic Development.

Volvo CEO Samuelsson Weighs in On Threat of Tariffs to Jobs at its S.C. Plant

Volvo Cars chief executive Hakan Samuelsson was among car executives quoted in a Financial Times article regarding the anticipated impacts of the U.S.’s proposed 25% tariff on vehicle imports. Volvo Cars is about to open a $1.2 billion manufacturing plant in Berkeley County – its first in the U.S., which will create 4,000 S.C. jobs by 2021 – and redesigned S60 sedans will be exported through the Port of Charleston around the globe. New tariffs on imported vehicles “would be really bad and would have consequences for the South Carolina plant,” Samuelsson said. “We’re going to use that plant for exports. If we can’t have free trade, then we will lose half the jobs we would have created.” For all Volvo’s cars sold inside the U.S. market to be built in South Carolina, Samuelsson said it would require an expensive redesign of the S.C. plant and lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers. The article also notes that Spartanburg’s BMW plant – which builds all X5 SUVs sold around the globe and was the U.S.’s largest car exporter by value in 2017 – ships overseas more than 70% of the 371,316 cars built in the Upstate, and that the majority of the BMWs sold in America are worth less than the company’s high-cost vehicles exported.

Richland County Council Sends Message Against Tax Breaks for New Student Housing

Richland County Council voted 6-5 in early June to deny a tax break of 33% over 10 years for a Florida developer’s planned student housing complex on Shop Road near Williams-Brice Stadium. Securing the incentives required the stamp of both Columbia City Council (which approved, 3-2) and Richland County Council. Council members afterward said they were leery of extending the benefits to an out-of-state development group and that they wanted to signal they did not want to see a return of the 2014-2015 window when the city and county offered 10-year, 50% tax breaks for student developments in Columbia that led to a construction boom of large downtown housing projects.

College Football Set to Add ‘Myrtle Beach Bowl’ in 2020

Grand Strand tourism is on pace for an influx of visiting college football fans and TV presence when the Myrtle Beach Bowl expects to kick off in the 2020 postseason. Coastal Carolina’s Brooks Stadium, with an expected capacity of 20,000 seats by the 2019 season, will host a game between teams projected from Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference or the Sun Belt, according to national college football writer Brett McMurphy.