State lawmakers said they want to help the SC horse industry. However, two principal efforts failed to get support in the legislative. The latest was the defeat of a measure that would appropriate money to the sector via a horse feed tax.
There is another bill that would legalize online horse race betting. The House passed it earlier in April. However, it did not progress through the Senate. Gambling news reports say the governor would veto the measure even if the Senate passed it. In addition, social conservatives opposed the measure.
The House could increase the funding to help the horse industry. However, the budget proposal might not go through the Senate. Thus, South Carolina’s horse industry will have to wait another year to receive help from the state.
SC Horse Industry
An April 18 House subcommittee meeting was packed with supporters making their case. Ned Towell, a proprietor of a horse farm near Camden, described how the area’s stables and farms had gradually emptied as their owners retired or went out of business.
South Carolina has lagged behind other states in the horse industry. According to the best pay per head bookie, the state has not made the same investments in infrastructure or offered the same generous incentives to horse owners and breeders.
According to political news forum users, equestrians were lobbying for a law to put a two-dollar tax per ton, or approximately a cent per bag, on horse feed. The funding would be distributed as grants to organizations working to improve the state’s equine sector.
The state’s Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office projects that the new levy will bring in $151,000 annually to fund such awards. The board’s duties would also include publicizing the sector.
Three Republicans voted against the panel’s lone Democrat, while the panel’s chairman, Republican of Woodruff Representative Bill Chumley, abstained.