Toll Free: 1.888.761.6232 | Fax: 803.534.1165

Senators seek new incentives for region

@OCDC_SC Tweets

View All Tweets

Media Contact

For media enquiries, please contact our corporate media office

Phone: (803)536-3333

Follow Us

On Twitter: @OCDC_SC
On LinkedIn:
On Facebook:

Senators seek new incentives for region

Local senators are seeking new incentives to attract businesses and create jobs near the intersection of interstates 26 and 95.

Sens. John Matthews, D-Bowman, and Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, have prefiled a bill seeking to establish a “port enhance zone” at the intersection.

“What it’s intended to do is create jobs,” Hutto said.

The port enhancement zone would cover a 23-mile radius, giving businesses extra incentives to locate in that region.

The location’s close proximity to the port in Charleston, no more than 60 miles away, makes it the ideal place for a distribution hub for cargo shipped to and from the port, the senators say.

Hutto said for incoming businesses, the cost of land in the area is much less expensive than in Dorchester or Berkeley counties.

“It’s designed to attract jobs to that area,” Matthews said.

Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson said the commission is in full support of the bill.

“I-95 has been a consistent poverty area for our state,” Robinson said. “Currently there is no investment in these areas.”

Incentives associated with the port enhancement zone will make it more attractive to businesses, he said. It will allow for easier infrastructure assistance, job tax credits and job development credits.

The bill was first brought before the state legislature late last session. It did not make it through the legislative process before time ran out.

Hutto and Matthews are confident the bill will go through completely this time around.

“It’s the same bill. We just didn’t get it passed all the way through,” Hutto said.

Matthews said they are introducing the bill early this session to give it the time it needs.

Among other things, the bill would:

• Allow taxpayers that qualify for the job tax credit to be allowed an additional $1,000 credit for each new full-time job created in a PEZ.

• Allow a taxpayer that creates at least 50 full-time new jobs in a PEZ to petition for a moratorium on state corporate income taxes or insurance premium taxes for ten years. If the number of full-time jobs falls below 50, the moratorium would end.

• Allow a tax credit for companies engaged in manufacturing, warehousing or distribution that use the port.

The bill would increase the maximum amount of tax credits allowed from $8 million to $9 million for each year for all taxpayers that export or import through the port and meet certain criteria.

• Allow an investment tax credit to double for a manufacturing company in the port enhancement zone.

• Lower the investment threshold from $35 million to $20 million in the port enhancement zone over a five-year period for a company to qualify for a sales and use tax exemption on material handling systems and material handling equipment used in the operation of a distribution facility.

• Extend the exemption in sales and use tax related to construction materials for a company that invests at least $40 million in real and personal property in the PEZ over an 18-month period.