S.C. Gov. Sanford’s Business Reforms Include Workers’ Comp

February 23, 2007

Reforms aimed at improving South Carolina’s climate for small businesses are high on Gov. Mark Sanford’s list of things to do.

The governor’s three-point plan – outlined in his State of the State last month – would lower income taxes, reform the workers’ compensation system and remove barriers for small businesses looking to provide more affordable health insurance for their employees.

“Improving the ‘soil conditions’ for starting and growing a business in South Carolina has never been more important than in today’s increasingly global competition for jobs and investment,” Gov. Sanford said. “With 97 percent of all businesses in South Carolina being small businesses and with more than half of our workforce employed by those businesses, we have to do everything we can to make sure business owners have a better playing field in which to compete.”

Governor Sanford is proposing the following for passage this year:

– A recurring $200 million income tax cut, offset by revenue growth and an increase in the cigarette tax from 7 cents to 37 cents. States across the country have been working to capitalize on the economic activity generated by income tax cuts – even in states headed by Democratic governors like New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arizona;

– Workers’ compensation reform, including standardization of awards, elimination of the Second Injury Fund, elimination of the 50 percent back rule, and increased penalties for fraudulent claims. South Carolina’s workers compensation premium increases rank second in the nation since 2000;

– Small business health care reform that would allow small businesses to band together in order to purchase health insurance for their employees. Small businesses are currently saddled with over 30 mandates that, while well intentioned, make the health care they can offer less affordable.

Source: Office of the Governor of South Carolina

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