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May 21, 2015

S.C. City Weighs Business-License Fee for Some Nonprofits

A Columbia, S.C., councilman wants the capital city to levy business-license taxes on nonprofits that compete with similar for-profit firms, Columbia newspaper The State reports. Councilman Moe Baddourah cited businesses run by hospital systems, such as doctors' offices, gifts shops, and florists, that compete directly with commercial entities.

Other council members said they welcomed an idea to generate additional city revenue. but the fee proposal raises numerous questions, including what other types of organizations would be affected. The council formed an ad hoc committee to study the matter. Spartanburg and Greenwood, S.C., have also considered charging the license fee to nonprofits but instead forged agreements with groups to collect alternative payments in lieu of  taxes.