South Carolinians Support Comprehensive Tax Reform, Favor Intervention In Underperforming Schools

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Friday, August 30th, 2019

More than two out of three South Carolinians support overhauling the state’s antiquated tax code and well over half support strong measures to turn around underperforming school districts, according to a new statewide poll released today by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. According to the poll, while nearly half of registered voters believe the state is heading in the right direction, they clearly think there is work to do on taxes and education.

Results show that tax reform is broadly popular and voters support lawmakers working on fixing the Palmetto State’s uncompetitive tax code.

71% of registered voters support the Governor and General Assembly working on creating a simpler tax code

67% of registered voters support the Governor and General Assembly working on tax reform for individuals in South Carolina

59% of registered voters support the Governor and General Assembly working on tax reform for businesses in South Carolina

“The people of this state want policymakers to do more than pay lip service to comprehensive tax reform,” said South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ted Pitts. “South Carolina voters believe the time has come to modernize our tax system – they want it to be simpler and more competitive. It’s time for lawmakers to move beyond talk and pass a comprehensive reform bill this legislative session.”

The poll also shows strong support for a variety of education reform measures, including near unanimous support for raising teacher pay. 85% of registered voters supported raising teacher salaries in South Carolina to meet the national average. A majority of both Democrats and Republicans also favor strong intervention measures to lift up underperforming schools.

57% of voters with education as their top issue support removing school board members and administrators in underperforming districts

69% of voters with education as their top issue support intervention by the State Department of Education for underperforming schools

“The education results are not surprising,” said Pitts. “State leaders deserve credit for the increase they provided our teachers last session and we need to work to get them to the national average. Policymakers also need to continue to support strong accountability measures for underperforming districts and schools as they finalize their work on the education reform bill.”