It appears the legislature is moving forward with scrapping the tax. If it is not offset by another tax, it would be a good thing. But, even if it is, I actually think scrapping the inventory tax would still be good for rather practical reasons.
One of retailers’ main arguments against the inventory tax is that it forces them to reduce their inventory during the Christmas holidays, when they should have more inventory on hand to sell, so they can avoid paying the inventory tax in January on merchandise they haven’t sold.
Darryl Smith, owner of the Boat Center in Savannah, said he can’t afford to bring in boat inventory until January because of the tax.
“I know we would sell more product nd make more money for everybody if I could keep the boats on the lot,” he told the committee.
Many retailers, such as Ray Gaster, owner of Gaster Lumber & Hardware, even move their inventory across state lines to neighboring states that don’t charge an inventory tax.
Stephens added that by operating out of South Carolina, Gaster is providing jobs to South Carolinians that would otherwise go to Georgians.