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Open For Business: Taxes, Credits & Incentives
Economic Development Incentive Grant
The Town of Mount Pleasant strives to create a sustainable local economy that encourages economic vitality, promotes fiscal integrity, and increases the local standard of living while preserving and enhancing the quality of life of the Town of Mount Pleasant.

As a key component of managed growth, the Town encourages selective business investment.  Selective business investment refers to companies that can essentially locate anywhere, and are not, or are minimally dependent (less than 30% of their sales or income) on the economy of the Town of Mount Pleasant or the Charleston Region.

View our Economic Development Incentive Ordinance and Application.  Have questions about it? Contact us.

Town Council unanimously voted in February 2016 to expand the incentives package. The expansion allows future applicants to receive up to five years' reimbursement of business license taxes on a declining reimbursement rate (up from 2 years). Read about the expansion here.

Taxes
Corporate Income Tax
  • Businesses located in South Carolina benefit from 5% corporate income tax, among the lowest in the nation. Corporations engaged in multi-state operations are taxed only on the portion of income derived from doing business in South Carolina.
  • Numerous credits and methods exist to reduce and eliminate corporate income tax liability.

Sales and Use Tax
  • The sales and use tax rate in South Carolina is 6% and a local option sales tax of 2.5% applies in Charleston County. Sales tax applies to all retail sales, leases and rentals of tangible personal property.

Property Tax

  • In South Carolina, only local governments levy property taxes. There is no state tax on real or personal property, and there is no tax — state or local — on inventories, intangibles or pollution control equipment. Local millage rates are applied to assessed value todetermine total annual tax amount.

Unemployment Insurance & Workers' Compensation
  • South Carolina's unemployment insurance rates for employers are below the national average. In 2008, the average unemployment insurance employer tax rate as a percentage of total wages was 0.53% in South Carolina compared to 0.65% nationally.
  • The average unemployment insurance employer tax rate as a percentage of taxable wages was 2.09% in South Carolina compared to 2.26% nationally. In 2006, the average workers’ compensation per $100 of covered wages was $1.33 in South Carolina as compared to $0.99 in the United States. (Source National Academy of Social Insurance and U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Adminstration, 4/2009) The South Carolina SUTA unemployment insurance tax is based on the first $7,000 in wages for each employee.
  • The new company rate is 3.4%. After the first year the rate is calculated based on the employer's experience factor — rates range from 1.24% to 6.10%, including a 0.06% contingency charge.

To get a Mount Pleasant Business License, click here.

Credits
Jobs Tax Credit
  • To qualify, companies must create and maintain a certain number of net new jobs in a taxable year. The number of new jobs is calculated as the increase in theaverage monthly employment from one year to the next.
  • This credit is then used against your South Carolina corporate income tax liability. Unused credits can be carried forward for 15 years.

Corporate Headquarters Credit
  • This credit against corporate income tax or corporate license fees offsets costs associated with establishing, relocating or expanding a corporate headquarters facility with at least 40 employees. The credit is equal to 20% of qualifying real property costs and direct construction or lease costs for the first five years of operations.

R & D Credit
  • This credit is equal to 5% of the taxpayer's qualified expenditures for R&D made in the state. Unused credits may be carried forward for 10 years.

Job Development Credit
With the approval of the South Carolina Coordinating Council, qualified companies are provided funds to help offset the cost of locating or expanding a business facility in the state. Effectively, the credit uses the state withholding taxes of new employees to reimburse the company for eligible expenditures including: 
  • Utility upgrades 
  • Fixed transportation facilities
  • Real estate (site or building improvements)
  • Manufacturing pollution control equipment
  • Approved training costs
  • Employee relocation expenses for technologyintensive facilities, R&D and certain corp. HQ's.
The Job Development Credit begins once the company meets the agreed-upon job and investment goals, and is generally available for 10 or 15 years, depending on the development status of the county in which the company is located.

Eligibility Criteria 
  • Minimum of 10 new jobs with healthcare benefits
  • Positive cost/benefit analysis
  • Wages for new jobs must be equal to or above county average
  • Application must be submitted and approved by S.C. Coordinating Council for ED

Customized Training Through ReadySC 
  • ReadySC is a state-funded program provided at little or no cost to companies creating new jobs with competitive wages and benefits.
  • The program offers customized recruitment, assessment, training development, management and implementation services to qualifying companies.
  • An integral part of the S.C. Technical College System, readySC provides a pre-trained and productive workforce from the first day of operations.

For information on taxes and credits, visit the Charleston Regional Development Alliance website at www.crda.org