Gov. Sanford Proposes Small-Business Tax Break

South Carolina governor Mark Sanford will deliver his State of the State address tonight. One of his priorities he'll be talking about is a bill to ease the tax burden on small business owners in the state.

The governor's proposal would cut small-business owners' taxes by a little more than two percent, but not everyone is convinced this is the answer.

"I've been in business for 22 years and basically what I've found is if people say they're going to give a tax decrease, it ends up being a tax increase in the long run," said Tom Lewis, owner of Alvin Ord's in Port Royal.

That's why Lewis is skeptical of the Gov. Sanford's proposal to ease the tax burden on small-business owners. Although Lewis says it might help some of the larger small businesses, he says it won't benefit his little sandwich shop. "If the state decreases taxes, where is the money going to come from? The money has to come from somewhere. The city. The county."

However, other small-business owners say this could be the break they've been waiting for. "The bank will benefit from it directly in that we will have the tax savings, but more importantly our customers that drive our business will save as well," said Bill Gossett of Islands Community Bank.

In fact, with South Carolina carrying the highest income tax rate in the Southeast, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce is saying this relief could help small businesses compete with other states and give the state an economic boost.

"It keeps the cost of doing business lower for business owners, and anytime they can decrease the cost of doing business, they do reinvest their money into the company in terms of job creation or in their ability to buy products or services," the chamber's Libby Barnes.

Gov. Sanford's speech will be tonight at 7pm. We'll have all the highlights coming up on THE News at 11.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey,