Bill that eliminates admissions tax on golf dues passes SC House
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Golfers across the state could start to see less of a charge on their monthly or annual dues to their local golf course.
The South Carolina House of Representatives just passed a bill Tuesday that would take away a 5% admissions tax on all golf dues for all courses. As it stands now, only some players across the state have to pay this depending on the course.
Terry Sedalik, the executive director of S.C. Golf Course Owner’s Association, says when comparing this admissions tax on golfers to other entertainment activities like a fitness club or recreational sports, and even other courses, their charges are not always up to par.
“You have to pay it at one club, but you don’t have to pay it at another and that’s what we’re trying to change,” Sedalik said.
H.3880 says the state takes up about two percent of the total revenue the country makes from the golf industry, which is an estimated $60 million dollars a year. About $3 million of that comes from the admissions tax.
“$3 million is not a financial windfall to golf nor will it really hurt the state financially,” Sedalik said.
Rep. Mark Smith of District 99, who represents Berkeley County, says with lowering the income tax for all South Carolinians last session, they wanted to continue that trend.
“It’s not right or fair that its ‘for profits’ and ‘nonprofits’ are not treated the same,” Smith said. “So, that’s all this bill does is level the playing field and make it fair and beneficial to all.”
He says every player also has to pay an additional tax on the cart rental, which one could argue that every golfer is being double taxed at every “for profit” course. It would now be treated like a “nonprofit” course if this bill passes. He says this would be most beneficial to courses in rural areas like Santee and Orangeburg.
“Anything we can do to allow the citizens to keep more of their hard-earned money is a good thing,” Smith said.
This bill still has to go through the Senate and Governor’s desk before it is put into action. It is unclear at this time if this will be on their agenda before this session is over.
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