South Carolina Economic Development Incentives: The Government and Non-Profit Players in the Process

South Carolina offers a broad range of tax and financial incentives to encourage new and existing businesses to open or expand operations in the state. This is the first in a series of blogs which will review these lucrative incentives and how they function. This blog address the players in economic development in South Carolina, from the Department of Commerce to the county economic development alliances.

  1. Department of Commerce

The South Carolina Department of Commerce ("DOC") is overseen by Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, who was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley. DOC is the principal economic development agency of the state. DOC project managers work directly with companies, and represent the state (and often county and local governments as well) in the negotiation of economic development incentives for projects.

  1. Coordinating Council for Economic Development

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development (the "Coordinating Council") is comprised of the heads of the ten state agencies concerned with economic development in the state. The agency heads are either board chairman or cabinet officials, and they meet quarterly to conduct the Coordinating Council's business. The agencies are: (1) the DOC; (2) State Board Technical/Comprehensive Education; (3) Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper); (4) State Ports Authority; (5) South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism; (6) South Carolina Research Authority; (7) South Carolina Department of Revenue; (8) Jobs Economic Development Authority; (9) South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce; and (10) South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

The Coordinating Council is involved in the approval of Job Development Credits, alternative methods to allocate and apportion income, and the award of state grant funds for projects. The Coordinating Council has a special committee that considers and approves applications for Job development Credits. The Coordinating Council is administered by an Executive Director, Daniel Young.

  1. State Budget & Control Board/Department of Administration

The South Carolina State Budget & Control Board ("B&CB" or the "Budget and Control Board") is made up of the Governor, the State Treasurer, the State Comptroller General, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The B&CB may be involved in the approval of Special Source Revenue Bonds for a project. Effective July 1, 2015, however, the State Budget and Control was abolished and replaced by a new Department of Administration.

  1. South Carolina Department of Revenue

The South Carolina Department of Revenue ("DOR") is responsible for the enforcement and collection of state taxes. Rick Reames III is Director of DOR, and was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley. DOR may be involved in the approval of alternative methods to allocate and apportion income, and special income allocation/apportion agreements for companies. DOR also regularly provides both state and local governments with technical and legal advice concerning the state's tax-based incentives.

  1. Local Government
  1. County

Certain tax incentives are offered at the county governmental level, most importantly the "Fee in Lieu of Property Tax" (discussed in a following blog). While each county in the State is principally governed by a county council, the members of each council are different, and county council members are generally elected officials.

  1. Municipal

Municipal or city governments in South Carolina also have various economic development tools at their disposal. The type of governing structure (mayor vs. city manager, for example) and membership differs from city to city, but most mayors and city council members are elected officials.

  1. Non-Profit Economic Development Entities

A significant amount of the economic development negotiation process occurs with representatives of non-profit economic development organizations located throughout South Carolina. These entities are established to assist in recruiting capital investment and often represent county and local governments in negotiations. Some of these development groups are devoted to economic development within or for a specific county (for example, the "Greenville Area Development Corporation"), or may be involved in economic development over larger geographic areas, including multiple levels of government (for example, the "Central SC Alliance", a non-profit organization representing nine (9) counties and one (1) city in central South Carolina). There are also non-profit organizations formed to promote economic development in the state, such as the South Carolina Economic Developers' Association (SCEDA). SCEDA members include local and regional economic developers, as well as officials from municipal, county and state government agencies, construction and engineering firms, utility companies, attorneys, consultants, financial institutions, and higher education.

Jump to Page
Arrow icon Top

Contact Us

We use cookies to improve your website experience, provide additional security, and remember you when you return to the website. This website does not respond to "Do Not Track" signals. By clicking "Accept," you agree to our use of cookies. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our Privacy Policy.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. These cookies may only be disabled by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.