IN THIS EDITION: SCDOR Delivers Lists of Top Delinquent Individual, Business Taxpayers … SCDOR Releases Public Draft on Casual Excise Tax for ​Sales of Boats, Boat Motors, and Airplanes … House Bill Proposes to Expand Homestead Exemption to $75,000 … State Tourism Director Announces Successes of SC’s $23.8B in Economic Impact, Touts Future Projects and Some Hootie

SCDOR Delivers Lists of Top Delinquent Individual, Business Taxpayers

The South Carolina Department of Revenue’s website is publishing lists of the state’s top delinquent individual and business taxpayers. The lists will be updated quarterly at dor.sc.gov/top250. Individual tax debt ranges from $94,373 to $2.6 million, while business tax debt ranges from $131,030 to nearly $2.8 million. The hundreds of delinquent accounts owe $119 million in taxes. Before names are published, the SCDOR exhausts many efforts to comply, including letters, phone calls and personal contact. All the delinquent taxpayers are in tax lien status, making these debts public information. The SCDOR publishes the list to provide transparency and accountability. Individuals and businesses who have filed for bankruptcy or who have made payment agreements are not included on this list. Debt in the GEAR or Setoff Debt programs is also excluded. (SCDOR)

SCDOR Releases Public Draft on Casual Excise Tax for ​Sales of Boats, Boat Motors, and Airplanes

The SCDOR has released an advisory opinion is to update taxpayers concerning the application of the Casual Excise Tax on sales of airplanes, boats, and boat motors when sales tax has not been paid. Also, the maximum sales and use tax amount was increased from $300 to $500. Comment close date is March 4. (SCDOR)

House Bill Proposes to Expand Homestead Exemption to $75,000

Rep. Wendy Brawley (D-Richland) is lead sponsor of a bill that would modify the current Homestead Exemption from a $50,000 credit to $75,000. The current Homestead Exemption value amount has not been adjusted for two decades, and Brawley points to $55 million of the state’s $860 million recurring budget surplus that would pay local governments to make up for the shortfall from the reduction. There would be no changes to the eligibility requirement for being 65 or older, 100% disabled or legally blind. As this is the second year of the state’s two-year legislative cycle, the bill would have to be reintroduced in 2021 if it does not pass this year. (WMBF Myrtle Beach)

State Tourism Director Announces Successes of SC’s $23.8B in Economic Impact, Touts Future Projects and Some Hootie

South Carolina tourism experienced a seventh straight year of growth and has a $23.8 billion impact based on 2018 numbers, an increase from 2017’s impact of $22.6 billion, the state’s tourism director said at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel. As Duane Parrish touted the year’s successes, he noted that the state’s park system generated 103% of the funding needed to operate at self-sufficiency, compared to 78% self-sufficiency when he became tourism director a decade ago. As the state’s five major airports landed a record 5.8 million deplanements, hotel inventory rose by nearly 3% while occupancy rates dropped by about 1%. According to the data from AirDNA, the state’s 50,000 short-term rental properties are about 10% more what was available in 2018. In an effort to counter five straight years of travel disruption during hurricane season and with severe weather, the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism asked for a permanent allocation of $1 million for ads to promote visiting in the fall. A planned project called Venues at Arsenal Hill is requesting $8.4 million to refurbish unused pre-Civil War buildings around the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia for use as event venues. Oh, and South Carolina musician Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish was introduced as the “official ambassador for South Carolina tourism.” (Post and Courier)

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

“While the vast majority of taxpayers are compliant with our tax laws, this is aimed at the small percentage who are not. We are committed to taking action against taxpayers who knowingly avoid paying these debts, so we can protect the taxpayers who do comply.”

Hartley Powell, SCDOR Director, on the department’s list of South Carolina’s Top Delinquent Taxpayers