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SCDP: Nikki Haley’s “Tax Day Double Standard”



Every Tax Day, you hear a lot of rhetoric from Republicans about looking out for the people and doing right by business. So today, remember the real record in South Carolina: small businesses bear the burden while Nikki Haley breaks the rules to take care of herself. Take a look at Nikki Haley’s double standard on taxes:


South Carolina’s small businesses are paying the highest industrial property tax rates in the country, and the 7th highest commercial property tax rates in the nation. Governor Haley supported Act 388 and has refused to back efforts to bring these rates down.

“Tax policy is critical to existing business and potential companies deciding to locate or expand in South Carolina. Decisions are based largely on competitiveness, predictability and sustainability. South Carolina manufacturers currently pay the highest industrial property taxes in the country, while all other business properties pay the 7th highest property taxes.”  [SC Chamber of Commerce, accessed 4/15/14]


Tax Returns Showed Haley Did Not Report Income While a State Legislator. “three years of tax records she allowed media to review showed she had been paid $42,500 for consulting work for engineering firm Wilbur Smith and Associates, income she had not previously disclosed. Company officials said they hired Haley to refer development prospects because of her ties to the Lexington business community. [The State, 7/21/10]

Wilbur Smith Paid Haley $5,500 More than Reported. “Haley was let go in 2008 because the souring economy had dried up potential work, not over her performance, Ferrell said. She received $48,000 from the firm — $5,500 more than previously reported, according to tax returns that Haley showed reporters during her 2010 campaign for governor.” [The State, 6/29/12]

Haley and Family Business Repeatedly Filed Late Taxes, Paid Thousands in Fines. The Associated Press reported on Haley’s tax history and that of family clothing store at which she “frequently cited” her experience as an accountant: “Records show the store’s taxes were at least 19 months past due each time the state filed a lien. Two of the tax liens were for failing to pay corporate income taxes and one was for not turning over taxes withheld from employee checks. The company paid nearly $4,000 to remove the liens… a review of Haley’s personal income taxes since 2004 showed she has repeatedly paid fines for failing to pay them on time, including twice filing more than 14 months late. Tax experts say a state tax lien is filed only after long negotiations between the government and the business. They also say the withholding penalty is more serious, since it involves the company taking money from employees but not sending it to the government.” [Associated Press, 9/9/10]

The State Editorial: “We Should Not Lower Our Standards.” The State wrote in 2010, ‘We do get concerned about patterns of behavior, and we do think that politicians ought to show some contrition when they fail to meet the basic obligations that the law requires of all citizens. Ms. Haley has developed a pattern, and in-stead of showing any contrition, she has tried to suggest that her failure to pay or even file her taxes on time somehow shows solidarity with an overtaxed public. It does no such thing. The overwhelming majority of South Carolinians not only file their taxes on time but pay them on time, as well. We should not lower our standards to knowingly elect some-one who has repeatedly failed to do that unless we make it clear that we are making a one-time exception, that we do not condone such irresponsibility — and unless the candidate makes it clear that she understands and respects this. [The State editorial, 9/17/10]

Column: Haley Gave Herself “Bailout” in Paying Taxes Late. “The IRS makes clear, the extension applies only to the return…Taxes are always due by April 15 — at the latest. The Haleys have not paid their taxes by April 15 in any of the past five years… in my book, anytime you have to pay the government a penalty, you’ve done something wrong, and the Haleys have paid the IRS $4,452 in penalties in the past five years…I admire Ms. Haley’s discipline in reining in the family budget, but the fact is that part of her strategy was to avoid paying her bills on time, by essentially giving herself a loan from those of us who paid our taxes on time. A bailout if you will, albeit temporary, for the candidate who deplores federal bailouts. And since she failed to pay her taxes on time five years in a row, it raises questions about her stewardship of money.” [The State, Scoppe column, 8/21/10]

Nikki Haley’s hypocrisy knows no bounds, and she has shown time and again that she believes she is accountable to no one. It’s time for new leadership.

(Editor’s Note: The above communication does not necessarily reflect the editorial position of To submit your letter, news release, email blast, media advisory or issues statement for publication, click here).

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