South Carolina General Assembly
125th Session, 2023-2024

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H. 3880


General Bill
Sponsors: Reps. M.M. Smith, Herbkersman, Davis, Elliott, B.J. Cox, B.L. Cox and Pace
Document Path: LC-0142DG23.docx

Introduced in the House on February 7, 2023
Introduced in the Senate on May 23, 2023

Summary: Admissions tax


Date Body Action Description with journal page number
2/7/2023 House Introduced and read first time (House Journal-page 18)
2/7/2023 House Referred to Committee on Ways and Means (House Journal-page 18)
5/4/2023 House Committee report: Favorable Ways and Means (House Journal-page 8)
5/9/2023 House Debate adjourned (House Journal-page 27)
5/10/2023 House Debate adjourned (House Journal-page 85)
5/11/2023 House Read second time (House Journal-page 31)
5/11/2023 House Roll call Yeas-102 Nays-7 (House Journal-page 32)
5/16/2023 House Read third time and sent to Senate (House Journal-page 27)
5/23/2023 Senate Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 37)
5/23/2023 Senate Referred to Committee on Finance (Senate Journal-page 37)

View the latest legislative information at the website



Committee Report

May 4, 2023

H. 3880

Introduced by Reps. M. M. Smith, Herbkersman, Davis, Elliott, B. J. Cox, B. L. Cox and Pace


S. Printed 05/04/23--H.

Read the first time February 07, 2023




The committee on House Ways and Means

To who was referred a Bill (H. 3880) to amend the South Carolina Code of Laws by amending Section 12-21-2420, relating to the admissions tax, so as to provide that no tax may be charged or collected, etc., respectfully


That they have duly and carefully considered the same, and recommend that the same do pass:


BRUCE BANNISTER for Committee.


statement of estimated fiscal impact

Explanation of Fiscal Impact


State Expenditure

This bill provides that admissions tax may not be collected on annual or monthly dues paid to a golf club. This bill is not expected to impact expenditures for DOR as we anticipate the agency will implement this exemption with existing resources.


State Revenue

This bill provides that admissions tax may not be collected on annual or monthly dues paid to a golf club. Currently, a 5 percent tax is levied on admission to places of amusement, including golf courses. DOR stated in Revenue Ruling #91-18 that membership dues for golf courses are subject to admissions taxes. This bill would exempt these dues from the 5 percent tax. The following table provides total admissions collected for the most recent years from golf courses.


Total Admissions Tax Collections from Golf Courses

Fiscal Year                                                  Collections

FY 2016-17                                                 $10,738,933

FY 2017-18                                                 $11,152,041

FY 2018-19                                                 $11,409,132


FY 2019-20                                                 $11,064,115

FY 2020-21                                                 $14,480,409

FY 2021-22                                                 $17,801,428

Source: S.C. Department of Revenue


Golf courses remit admissions taxes from memberships, events, and fees charged to the public to play on the course. The admissions tax returns do not distinguish between these different types of revenue. Therefore, we have based our analysis on estimates of overall golf membership revenue.


In the United States, golf memberships are estimated to generate $3 billion in revenue annually.South Carolina's population is 1.6 percent of the nation. However, the state has 349 golf courses, or 2.2 percent of total golf courses in the country. Using these figures, we would estimate that approximately 2 percent of nationwide revenue from golf club dues, or $60,000,000, is generated annually in South Carolina. Applying the 5 percent admissions tax rate to this figure, an estimated $3,000,000 in admissions tax comes from golf dues, or about 13.4 percent of the amount collected from golf courses in FY 2021-22.


Section 12-62-60 states that 26 percent of the General Fund portion of admissions collections for the previous fiscal year must be allocated to the South Carolina Film Commission. Further, Section 12-21-6530 states that, for a designated major tourism or recreation facility or for a facility located within a designated major tourism or recreation area, one-fourth of the license tax paid on admissions to this establishment must be paid quarterly by DOR to the county or municipality where the facility is located for use in infrastructure improvements. Additionally, Section 12-21-6540 states that an additional one-fourth of admissions collections from these designated establishments must be deposited quarterly into a fund to be used for grants to counties or municipalities for infrastructure improvement.


The bill is effective upon approval by the Governor, and this analysis assumes it will take effect in FY 2023-24. Because the transfer to the Film Commission is based on the prior year's General Fund collections, the impact on the transfer amount does not occur until FY 2024-25. The table below shows the impact for the next three fiscal years. For the purposes of this analysis, we have assumed that the admissions revenues from golf course memberships that will be exempted under the bill are not associated with a major tourism or recreation facility subject to the transfers in Sections 12-21-6530, 6540. If admissions from these golf courses are currently subject to these transfers, the distribution of the impact would be affected.


Estimated Impact of Exempting Golf Club Dues from Admissions Tax

Fiscal Year    General Fund Admissions           SC Film Commission                Total Impact

                     Tax Reduction                           Revenue Reduction

FY 2023-24   ($3,000,000)                              $0                                            ($3,000,000)

FY 2024-25   ($2,220,000)                              ($780,000)                               ($3,000,000)

FY 2025-26   ($2,422,800)                              ($577,200)                               ($3,000,000)



Frank A. Rainwater, Executive Director

Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office












A bill


to amend the South Carolina Code of Laws by amending Section 12-21-2420, relating to the admissions tax, so as to provide that no tax may be charged or collected on annual or monthly dues paid to a golf club.


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:


SECTION 1.  Section 12-21-2420 of the S.C. Code is amended by adding an item to read:


    (17) on annual or monthly dues paid to a golf club.


SECTION 2.  This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.


This web page was last updated on May 4, 2023 at 8:44 PM