Florida doesn’t have one. Neither does Tennessee. North Carolina just lowered theirs. These are some of the reasons why South Carolina’s seven percent top state income tax rate puts the Palmetto State at a regional disadvantage. The good news is Gov. Nikki Haley has a proposal to fix this problem, if the legislature will let her.

During her State of the State Address last week, Haley called for a significant income tax cut for individuals, families, and businesses across the state. Gov. Haley has proposed taking the top marginal income tax rate from seven to five percent, about a 30 percent reduction in the rate. Such a proposal would be good for the South Carolina economy. Gov. Haley, however, is running into resistance from her state legislature.

While Gov. Haley is trying to increase the disposable income had by individuals, families, and small businesses, some lawmakers in Columbia only want to do one thing – raise the gas tax.

Americans for Tax Reform urges South Carolina lawmakers to only vote for a gas tax increase if it is in conjunction with Gov. Haley’s income tax reduction. After more than 20 new or higher taxes signed into law at the federal level over the last six years, South Carolinians are in need of tax relief. Gov. Nikki Haley recognizes this, as is evidenced by her proposal to cut the state income tax.

If South Carolina lawmakers wish to raise the gas tax, they should only do so in conjunction with the income tax cut that Gov. Haley has proposed. North Carolina passed one of the most significant tax relief packages in 2013, taking their income tax rate down to 5.75 percent. It’s time for South Carolina to catch up. Gov. Haley’s proposal will do so, and ensure that South Carolina remains competitive regionally, nationally, and globally.