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Bill Number: 1277 Ratification Number: 552 Act Number 495 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Counties and municipal corporations
(A495, R552, S1277)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 4-9-30, AS AMENDED, AND 5-7-30, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO COUNTIES AND MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS, SO AS TO EXEMPT FROM BUSINESS LICENSE TAXES ENTITIES AND THEIR SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES WHICH ARE EXEMPT FROM LICENSE TAX UNDER ANOTHER LAW AND TO LIMIT THE RIGHT TO LEVY A BUSINESS LICENSE TAX ON BUSINESSES ENGAGED IN MAKING LOANS SECURED BY REAL ESTATE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Exemptions from and limitations on county business license taxes
SECTION 1. Section 4-9-30(12) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(12) to levy uniform license taxes upon persons and businesses engaged in or intending to engage in a business, occupation, or profession, in whole or in part, within the county but outside the corporate limits of a municipality except those persons who are engaged in the profession of teaching or who are ministers of the gospel and rabbis, except persons and businesses acting in the capacity of telephone, telegraph, gas and electric utilities, suppliers, or other utility regulated by the Public Service Commission and except an entity which is exempt from license tax under another law or a subsidiary or affiliate of any such exempt entity. The license tax must be graduated according to the gross income of the person or business taxed. A business engaged in making loans secured by real estate is subject to the license tax only if it has premises located in the county but outside the corporate limits of a municipality. If the person or business taxed pays a license tax to another county or to a municipality, the gross income for the purpose of computing the tax must be reduced by the amount of gross income taxed in the other county or municipality;".
Exemptions from and limitations on municipality business license taxes
SECTION 2. Section 5-7-30 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 5-7-30. Each municipality of the State, in addition to the powers conferred to their specific form of government, may enact regulations, resolutions, and ordinances, not inconsistent with the Constitution and general law of this State, including the exercise of powers in relation to roads, streets, markets, law enforcement, health, and order in the municipality or respecting any subject which appears to it necessary and proper for the security, general welfare, and convenience of the municipality or for preserving health, peace, order, and good government in it, including the authority to levy and collect taxes on real and personal property and as otherwise authorized in this section, make assessments, and establish uniform service charges relating to them; the authority to abate nuisances; grant franchises for the use of public streets and make charges for them; engage in the recreation function; levy a business license tax on gross income, but a wholesaler delivering goods to retailers in a municipality is not subject to the business license tax unless he maintains within the corporate limits of the municipality a warehouse or mercantile establishment for the distribution of wholesale goods; and a business engaged in making loans secured by real estate is not subject to the business license tax unless it has premises located within the corporate limits of the municipality and no entity which is exempt from the license tax under another law nor a subsidiary or affiliate of such an exempt entity is subject to the business license tax; borrow in anticipation of taxes; and pledge revenues to be collected and the full faith and credit of the municipality against its note and conduct advisory referenda. The municipal governing body may fix fines and penalties for the violation of municipal ordinances and regulations not exceeding two hundred dollars or imprisonment not exceeding thirty days.
For the purpose of providing and maintaining parking for the benefit of a downtown commercial area, a municipality may levy a surtax upon the business license of a person doing business in a designated area in an amount not to exceed fifty percent of the current yearly business license tax upon terms and conditions fixed by ordinance of the municipal council. The area must be designated by council only after a petition is submitted by not less than two-thirds of the persons paying a business license tax in the area and who paid not less than one-half of the total business license tax collected for the preceding calendar year requesting the designation of the area. The business within the designated area which is providing twenty-five or more parking spaces for customer use is required to pay not more than twenty-five percent of a surtax levied pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.