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Speaker Responds to Senate’s Changes on Cig Tax Credit Plan

May 7, 2009

Office of the Speaker

SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 7, 2009

Contact: Greg Foster

(803) 734-3125

fosterg@scstatehouse.net

House Speaker Responds to Senate’s Changes on Cig Tax Credit Plan

“Tax Now, Wait and See” is not the right approach

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Bobby Harrell issued the following statement about the changes the Senate Finance Committee made to the Cigarette Tax Credit plan:

“I have concerns about the changes that the Senate Finance Committee made today to the House’s cigarette tax credit plan. Putting this money into a ‘trust fund’ to use later on instead of returning these dollars back to the people to assist in the purchase of private health insurance raises uncertainties. This sets up the potential for government to just tax and spend the money elsewhere instead of using tax credits to help people purchase the health care coverage they need.

“Simply raising taxes and then waiting around to see what Congress does with a universal health care plan is not the right approach. We need a plan that is based on giving this money back through tax credits and private insurance options. This ‘tax now, wait and see’ method is dangerous. The revenue neutral plan the House put together is far from the expensive government issued health care plan Congress is preparing to fund with a massive tax increase. The House’s cigarette tax credit plan makes it affordable for individuals to purchase private health care coverage and incentivizes small businesses to offer better benefits to their workers.

“I hope the full Senate will address these changes and return to a plan that gives the money back to the people.”

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