Tax credits plan to hire unemployed advances

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina legislators say the state should spend up to $94 million during the next two years on tax credits encouraging businesses to hire people collecting unemployment checks.

The Senate Finance Committee Tuesday approved a bill that would give employers up to $1,200 a year in tax credits for making such hires.

South Carolina’s 10.2 percent unemployment rate in February tied with Mississippi and Oregon as the nation’s sixth highest.

Senate Republican Leader Harvey Peeler of Gaffney said his bill is a good start at creating jobs.

The legislation reduces state tax collections by $31 million in the fiscal year that begins in July and $63 million in the following fiscal year.

Peeler first proposed the bill in 2009 but it died in the House.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)