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Incentives & financing

Charleston County enjoys a reputation as a premiere pro-business location in the Southeast, and our robust financial incentives are part of that reputation. Learn more about specific incentives and programs for your business below: 

Statutory Incentives

Five-year property tax abatement
Sales tax exemptions
Jobs tax credit
Corporate headquarters credit
Research & development credit

Discretionary Incentives

Fee-in-lieu of property tax
Job development credit
Other money-saving opportunities

Grants

Set-aside grants
Utility tax credit (UTC) grants

Other Money-Saving Opportunities


Statutory Incentives

Some financial incentives available within South Carolina are statutory and are claimed directly by your company when you file your state corporate income taxes.

They include:

Five-year property tax abatement

You may be eligible for a five-year exemption from county property taxes if you:

  • Invest $50,000 in manufacturing facilities
  • Invest $50,000 in research and development facilities
  • Invest $50,000 and create 75 new jobs in a corporate headquarters or distribution facility

Sales tax exemptions

Your business may be eligible for sales tax exemptions on:

  • Manufacturing electricity and fuels
  • Manufacturing machinery, equipment, and replacement parts
  • Research and development equipment
  • Raw materials
  • Air, water, and noise pollution control equipment
  • Parts and supplies for government or commercially leased aircraft repair or conditioning
  • Material handling for manufacturing projects investing $35 million or more in South Carolina
  • Construction materials for a manufacturing or distribution facility with a capital investment of $100 million or more

You are also exempt for sales taxes exceeding $300 on the sale or lease of a car, truck, plane, boat, or other means of transportation.

Jobs tax credit

Created to reward new and expanding companies who create jobs in South Carolina, this credit is applied to your corporate income tax and can be carried forward and used over 15 years.

Corporate headquarters credit

This state-provided corporate income tax/license fees credit is designed to help you establish, relocate, or expand your corporate headquarters in South Carolina. To qualify, your facility must have 40 or more employees.

Research & development credit

Increase research and development activities in a taxable year and you may be eligible for a 5% credit on qualified expenditures. Credits are valid for up to 10 years.

Discretionary Incentives

Other financial incentives are negotiated with Charleston County and the state of South Carolina. They are typically dependent upon the capital investment, hiring and payroll involved in a new project or expansion.

They include:

Fee-in-lieu of taxes (FILOT)

Qualifying local companies can negotiate a fee instead of property taxes, lowering their property taxes by as much as 43%, negotiating their millage rate, and stabilizing their payments for up to 20 years.

Job development credit

This credit uses state withholding taxes from your new employees to reimburse your company for eligible expenditures like:

  • Utility upgrades
  • Fixed transportation facilities
  • Real estate purchase or improvements
  • Pollution control equipment
  • Training costs
  • Employee relocation expenses for specialized facilities

Applications for the job development credit are approved by the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development and begin once the company meets their job and investment goals.

Grants

Grants to introduce, upgrade or extend roads, water and sewer service or to underwrite site development costs can be made available on substantial relocation or expansion projects.

They include:

Set-aside grants

Awarded by the S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development, these grants are attached to economic development projects and may be used for public infrastructure, site clearing, and other project-related purposes.

Utility tax credit (UTC) grants

Available for public infrastructure expenses, these grants are awarded by public utilities within South Carolina. All UTC grants must take place on public property.

Other Money-Saving Opportunities

Our smart workforce development programs and special zones also help create an affordable roadmap to your success. Take advantage of opportunities like:

Still have questions? Contact our team.

To learn more about applying and qualifying for one of our tax credits, taking advantage of our workforce programs, or saving on operating costs while you grow, contact our team. We’re here to help.