Sales Tax News - August 21, 2017

By Brian Greer on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

Topics: sales tax news

South Carolina considers taxing prescription drugs while an Alaskan Mayor looks to eliminate a sales tax cap.

South Carolina Lawmakers to Consider Taxing Prescription Medicines

Legislators in South Carolina will soon meet to discuss whether prescription drugs and other items exempt from state sales tax should continue to be tax-free.  Currently, prescription medication, groceries, and lottery tickets are among the items exempt from sales tax in South Carolina.  Previous efforts to tax prescription drugs in South Carolina have failed.  In 2010, lawmakers proposed a 1.25 percent tax on prescription drugs, well short of the state’s six percent sales tax.  The law would have also made drugs covered by Medicare or Medicaid exempt.  Opponents of the tax argue that taxing prescription drugs will adversely affect the state’s most needy citizens.  House legislators could start meeting to discuss changes as soon as next month.  

Mayor in an Alaskan Borough Looks to End Cap on Sales Tax Collection

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel is frustrated with a voter-imposed cap on the amount of sales tax the city can collect.  Currently, the city is not allowed to collect more sales tax than it did the year prior.  The cap does, however, factor in inflation, new construction, new bond payments, legal judgments, emergencies, and new services approved by voters.  But Mayor Kassel argues that the formula for the cap makes it hard to plan and budget.  The formula does not take into account unforeseen circumstances or reduced state funding.  Opponents of the cap fear that the city will have difficulty continuing to fund current state programs.  On the other side of the argument, those for the cap state that it has given residents stability, especially homeowners.  Signatures are currently being collected to put the matter on the 2018 ballot.

Check back regularly with us for more sales tax news.

Brian Greer

Written by Brian Greer