Legislators OK Beaufort shopping developer breaks

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Legislators have signed off on plans for economic development incentives for a $400 million retail development in Jasper County.

The Senate Finance Committee approved the package Tuesday after saying the developer must create more jobs and generate more in sales to qualify for the breaks.

Sembler Co. plans to build a 280-acre upscale shopping center near Sun City and Bluffton. To offset construction costs, Sembler would be able to keep part of state sales taxes during the next 15 years if $200 million is invested and 1,250 jobs are created and it keeps at least 625 of them. Otherwise, the company must repay the breaks.

Opponents say existing retailers who will compete with the new development aren't getting state help.

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