Haley pays $300,000 for pro-business ads

Opponent Sheheen says corporate tax is already low

COLUMBIA --- In her latest ad, South Carolina GOP gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley focuses on her ideas to create jobs by cutting taxes and promoting small businesses.

Republican Nikki Haley's latest TV ad calls for lower taxes to help businesses create jobs. The Plan ad campaign began Friday.   File/Associated Press
File/Associated Press
Republican Nikki Haley's latest TV ad calls for lower taxes to help businesses create jobs. The Plan ad campaign began Friday.

"If we cut taxes and get government out of the way, we will create jobs," she says in the ad.

Titled Plan, it began running Friday on cable and network channels statewide, and stations in Augusta and Savannah, Ga. Her campaign says it's spending almost $300,000 to air the ad.

Haley, a state House member, has repeatedly said a top priority is eliminating the corporate income tax, an idea legislators rejected earlier this year because many thought the economy was too uncertain. Though it's a top revenue source, at about $200 million a year, Haley points out that it accounts for less than 5 percent of general fund revenue.

"Priority No. 1 is we need to eliminate the small business, or the corporate, income tax because when you give businesses cash, when you give them profit margins, the first thing they do is hire people," she said recently.

Though she has referred to the corporate income tax as the small business tax, those terms are not synonymous. Tax officials say the bulk of small businesses are set up differently, with profits taxed as personal income. So the idea won't help them.

Her opponent, Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, says it's a bad idea to eliminate the corporate income tax because it would put most small businesses at a disadvantage. He notes that, at 5 percent, South Carolina's corporate income tax rate is already the lowest in the Southeast.

Only four states have no corporate income tax: Texas, Washington, Wyoming and Nevada, according to the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group. Its policy director, Bill Ahern, argues that because South Carolina's collections for the tax are comparatively low -- ranking 44th per capita -- repeal is a good idea because it would get rid of the bureaucracy required to keep track of it.

"We are big fans of eliminating taxes that don't produce a lot of revenue," he said, while acknowledging any cuts would be tough when the state could face a $1 billion budget hole next year.

Ahern said such a move would help major corporations, and distinguish South Carolina as the only state east of the Mississippi River without one. But he noted that it wouldn't help small, non-corporate businesses.

If the legislature does eliminate corporate income taxes, small businesses will come back for equal treatment, said Frank Knapp, the president of the state's Small Business Chamber of Commerce. Four years ago, lawmakers lowered the personal income tax rates for small business profits from 7 percent to 5 percent.

Haley's ad also says she wants to "stop junk lawsuits." That references her support for a loser-pays requirement for medical malpractice suits, and a cap on punitive damages. The House passed a bill in March that would limit the amount juries could award to punish a person or business for negligence, but it got nowhere in the Senate.

It would have expanded a 2005 tort reform law that capped pain-and-suffering awards for medical malpractice lawsuits at $350,000.

Haley's campaign tries to brand Sheheen as a "liberal trial lawyer." But Sheheen voted for the law, and was the primary sponsor of a law limiting the scope of asbestos lawsuits.

"The issue at hand is Nikki Haley has nothing else to run on, so she's trying to scare people," said Sheheen's spokesman, Trav Robertson.

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johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 10/02/10 - 07:05 am
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Wow, Haley makes economic

Wow, Haley makes economic sense and Sheehan has insults. It's easy to see who the geniuses at the AP support.

corgimom
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corgimom 10/02/10 - 08:32 am
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"If we cut taxes and get

"If we cut taxes and get government out of the way, we will create jobs," she says in the ad.

And then there is not paying taxes at all- as she has tried to do. That cuts them, all right.

"Priority No. 1 is we need to eliminate the small business, or the corporate, income tax because when you give businesses cash, when you give them profit margins, the first thing they do is hire people," she said recently.

No, the first thing they do is give themselves a raise. Under today's tax laws, the only businesses that pay significant corporate tax are big businesses, not small businesses. Paying 5% taxes on net profit is minimal. Of course, if you eliminate corporate tax, that pushes even more tax burden on the individual taxpayers- but since paying her taxes isn't high on her priority list, I can see why she feels that's ok.

"Haley's ad also says she wants to "stop junk lawsuits." That references her support for a loser-pays requirement for medical malpractice suits, and a cap on punitive damages. The House passed a bill in March that would limit the amount juries could award to punish a person or business for negligence, but it got nowhere in the Senate."

If I feel that I am the victim of medical malpractice, I have every right under the Constitution to seek damages in a court of law.

The more I read about that woman, the more I pray that she is not elected.

apex24
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apex24 10/02/10 - 11:50 am
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Be careful. Nikki Haley may

Be careful. Nikki Haley may not be what you think she is.

truthteller
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truthteller 10/03/10 - 09:00 am
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Two points Nikki. Where are

Two points Nikki. Where are all the jobs that were supposed to be created by the Bush tax cuts? If that approach worked, we should be awash in jobs; instead we're drowning in debt and your policy will only make it worse. Secondly, cutting corporate taxes won't help most small businesses because they aren't corporations; you'll just be helping the big boys on Wall Street implement corporate socialism.

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