By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A new law written to assist Habitat for Humanity's home-building mission may be a boon in South Carolina's post-flood rebuilding efforts.
The law that took effect New Year's Day allows charities that build or renovate homes for poor families to buy those construction materials free of sales tax. When they passed the exemption overwhelmingly in June, legislators could not have foreseen the benefit to a state ravaged by historic flooding months later.
The measure's main sponsor, Republican Rep. Garry Smith, says he introduced it because it didn't make sense to tax the work of a charity that builds homes and hope in communities.
Greg Thomas, director of the state's association for 36 Habitat affiliates, called the law "an absolute blessing," allowing charities to stretch their money to cover more repairs.
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