Taking a Bite Out of BLT


From the Desk Of: Ted Pitts
South Carolina Chamber of Commerce
 
What’s the most business unfriendly thing we do to small businesses?  BLT
 
With over 400,000 small businesses in South Carolina making up 47% of our workforce, they are the backbone of our economy.  We should help them grow and succeed, but our business license tax system does the opposite. The state’s patchwork BLT system is the most business unfriendly thing we do to our small businesses.  That is why states like NC have repealed the BLT all together and that is why the SC Chamber’s Small Business Council has made BLT Reform a top priority every year.
 
Opponents to reforming the BLT system try to pit small businesses against their local governments.  The reality is reform would be good for both sides.  Currently, the system is the wild west with over 230 cities and towns adopting their own individual rules, deadlines and forms, and now many are hiring third party contingency fee-based companies to collect the tax from businesses, getting as much as 50% of the take.  Standardizing the system will make it easier for businesses to understand the rules and comply with them no matter where they operate.
 
The broken BLT system will not fix itself.  The General Assembly must act in 2020 and help South Carolina’s small businesses focus on their jobs instead of 230 different ways to pay taxes.