Columbia Tax Modernization Committee Hears Property Tax Concerns
The City of Columbia Tax Modernization Committee heard from business owners on Tuesday about the impact of high commercial property tax rates.
COLUMBIA, SC — City of Columbia leaders are looking for ways to change the city’s tax rates. The city’s tax modernization committee said changes were needed to make the city more economically competitive.
“I was paying $1,400 a year on Devine Street,” said Donna Green, owner of Southern Pottery.
Donna Green is one of many property owners in the city who spoke to the committee and shared their concerns about high commercial property tax rates.
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“I had to borrow money to pay my taxes, basically because my taxes were so high,” Green said. “So you have to think about how you can grow your business to cover that borrowed money and if that continues you really have to back off.”
Green told News 19 that she had to reduce the size of her business by more than half, moving her business from Devine St. to the North Main community.
In April, the committee presented a plan to reduce Columbia’s commercial and rental property taxes by 33.33%. The plan is to gradually reduce taxes over 10 years and hopefully sooner.
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According to their plan, the first two years will be spent creating an escrow account from new investments while reducing spending in the budget. In the third year, the city can begin to use these funds and money from other revenues to cover tax cuts as new investments expand and tax cuts are phased in.
“Taxes on commercial apartments and rental homes in Columbia are 48% higher than in Charleston, 38% higher in Greenville, and 28% higher than just across the river,” Joe Taylor said. , Columbia City Councilman.
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The rate is currently 6%, according to the Association of South Carolina Counties. According to Taylor, the capital has one of the highest commercial property taxes in the country.
“It doesn’t deter people from wanting to do business here, it stops them from doing business here, and it limits the amount of new investment we have,” Taylor said.
Green adds that to attract more people and businesses to Colombia, tax rates must come down. “To start small businesses, there has to be some kind of fair business tax process.”
The next committee meeting is May 19 at 2 p.m. Members will work to finalize the plan and submit it to the mayor for review.
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