Economic development incentives

South Carolina

Southern US

BLS & Co. periodically revises the state incentive pages to ensure our firm is providing the most current information on legislative and regulatory developments affecting available programs. Updates will be posted in the near future. In the interim, please call BLS & Co. with any questions at 609.924.9775 or reach out via email at


Discretionary Grant Funds: South Carolina has three discretionary grant funds available to businesses that can demonstrate additional funding is needed to close a competitive cost gap relative to other states in contention for a project that involves new job creation and capital investment. The grant funds are administered by the South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development. Projects are evaluated on a case-by-case basis with grant funds typically awarded to assist with the costs of items such as site preparation, road and infrastructure improvements when needed.

Job Development Credit: Discretionary program offers a quarterly cash refund of a portion of the personal withholding taxes of new employees. To qualify, businesses must meet industry requirements, create at least 10 full-time jobs with wages at or above the average county wage, make a substantial capital investment, and provide a benefits package to full-time employees that pays a minimum of 50% of employee’s premium. Additional job creation and wage thresholds must be met for a service facility to be eligible. The actual amount of refund a business is eligible to claim will depend on a number of factors including the tier level of the county where the project is located and the gross wages of new employees.  The Coordinating Council generally limits the amount of this credit that may be claimed to no more than $3,250 per new employee per year. A business is eligible to claim the credit for up to 10 years, provided it retains the number of new jobs specified in the project agreement. Refunds must be used to reimburse the company for eligible capital expenditures and cannot be used to reduce state tax liability.


Jobs Tax Credit: A business that creates a monthly average of at least 10 net new jobs at a corporate headquarters, manufacturing, distribution, processing, warehousing, agribusiness, or R&D facility is eligible to receive an annual credit of $1,500 to $25,000 per job based on the county’s classification. Qualified service-related facilities that meet certain job numbers and wage thresholds may also qualify for this credit. This non-refundable, as-of-right credit may be claimed for 5 years starting in Year 2. An additional $1,000 per job bonus is available to companies that locate in a multi-county industrial park. The actual amount of the tax credit will depend on the development tier of the county where the project is located. The credits cannot be used to offset more than 50% of income tax liability each year. Unused credits may be carried forward for up to 15 years.

Corporate Headquarters Tax Credit: Companies that establish or expand a corporate headquarters facility in South Carolina may receive a tax credit equal to 20% of the value of the portion of the facility dedicated to the headquarters operation or 20% of the first 5 years of direct lease costs. The credit can be applied against either corporate income tax or the license fee. To qualify, a business must create at least 40 full-time jobs that are engaged in corporate headquarters or R&D and at least 20 of those jobs must be classified as headquarters staff positions. The facility must be the company’s only corporate headquarters in the region and be the location where most company staff functions are handled. Tax credits are non-refundable and non-transferable and may be claimed for up to 10 years. Businesses that create a minimum of 75 new jobs with average cash compensation that is at least two times the state’s per capita income may receive an enhanced credit.

Investment Tax Credit: Manufacturers that relocate to or expand in South Carolina are eligible for a one-time corporate income tax credit of up to 2.5% of the cost of new production equipment. The credit can be used to offset up to 100% of corporate tax liability. All unused credits can be carried forward for up to 10 years.

Research and Development Tax Credit: A credit equal to 5% of a company’s qualified research expenses in the state may be claimed by eligible businesses. The credit cannot be used to offset more than 50% of a company’s remaining tax liability after all other credits have been applied. Unused credits can be carried forward for up to 10 years.

Port Volume Increase Tax Credit: Potential income tax credit or withholding tax credit for manufacturers, warehousers, distributors, freight forwarding companies, freight handling companies, and others who use a South Carolina port facility. A company must have 75 net tons of noncontainerized cargo, 385 cubic meters, or 10 loaded TEUs transported in a base year and then increase that port cargo value by 5% year-over-year. Credit is limited to $15 million per year and unused credits may be carried forward for a period of 5 years.

Green Initiative Credits: A variety of credits are available focused on green initiatives. Credits in this program are equal to25%-30% of qualified expenses. These initiatives include recycling facilities, solar energy, energy conservation, renewable energy, and textile revitalization. The amount of time the credit can be carried forward depends on the sector invested; carryforward periods range from five years to indefinitely.

Revitalization of Abandoned Building Credit: Companies qualified for this credit may be eligible for up to two credits. Qualified sites are buildings or structures that have at least a 66% portion that has been closed continuously or otherwise nonoperational for at least five years from when notice of rehabilitation was filed. A credit against income taxes or license taxes equal to 25% of the rehabilitation expenses may be available. This credit is to be taken in equal installments over three years, beginning with the tax year in which the site is placed in service. The credit can offset up to 100% of the income or license tax liability, and the credit may not exceed $500,000 in any one tax year. Unused credits can be carried forward for up to five years. In this case, the taxpayer must file the Notice of Intent to Rehabilitate with the Department of Revenue before incurring expenses. A credit against real property taxes may also be available. This credit is equal to 25% of the rehabilitation expenses of an eligible site. This credit can offset up to 75% of property taxes for a period of up to eight years. The local county or municipality will determine eligibility for this credit.

Credit for Distribution, Dispensing, and Storing Equipment for Alternative Fuels: Credit is available for taxpayers that purchase, construct, install, and place into service, eligible property that is used to distribute, dispense, or store alternative fuel at a new location or an existing commercial facility in South Carolina. The credit is equal to 25% of the cost of purchasing, constructing, and installing the eligible property. The credit must be taken in three equal annual installments beginning with the tax year when the property is placed in service. If, in one of the years, the credit installment accrues, the property used for distributing, dispensing, or storing renewable fuel is disposed of or taken out of service and is not replaced, the credit expires, and the taxpayer may not take any remaining installment of the credit. Unused credits may be carried forward for a period of ten years.


Fee-in-Lieu of Property Taxes (FILOT): Companies making a total capital investment of at least $2.5 million may negotiate with the county to obtain a lower assessment ratio and stabilize millage rates for up to 30 years. By law, the company has five years to meet the minimum investment threshold and the county can offer an additional five-year extension to complete the project. Thus, all of the investment placed under the fee must be incurred within a maximum of ten years.  The company may include both real and personal property under the FILOT agreement. However, property that has been on the tax rolls in the state previously, including existing buildings, is not eligible for the FILOT. (This restriction is waived for companies investing an additional $45 million or more in new investment.)

Under a FILOT, payments to local government are significantly reduced through the negotiation of a lower assessment rate from 10.5% to as low as 6%. For certain large projects assessment ratios as low as 4% may be negotiated. The company may also negotiate a locked-in millage rate for up to 30 years or a five-year adjustable rate for the property that is subject to the FILOT. With a FILOT, personal property depreciates, but real property is fixed at the original cost for the life of the fee. However, the county and the company may instead provide that any real property subject to the FILOT may be reported at its fair market value as determined by the appraisal of the South Carolina Department of Revenue and may be re-appraised every five years.

Sales Tax Exemption: Inventories, intangible personal property, R&D equipment, manufacturing equipment, and industrial electricity for manufacturing are exempt from sales tax. Construction materials used to construct a manufacturing or distribution facility with at least $100 million invested over an 18-month period are exempt from sales and use tax. For a new or expanding technology intensive company that creates at least 100 new jobs within a 5-year period with an average wage at or above 150% the state per capita wage and invests at least $300 million in real or personal property over five years (60% of which must be spent on computer equipment), South Carolina provides certain exemptions from sales and use taxes for computer equipment.  For a new or expanding recycling facility that invests at least $300 million by the end of the fifth calendar year after the year in which the company begins construction or operation of the facility, South Carolina provides certain exemptions from sales and use tax.

Data Centers: Businesses that operate data centers may receive exemptions from sales and use taxes in exchange for investing at least $50 million (or $75 million at a multi-tenant facility) and creating at least 25 jobs with an average wage that is 150% of the county or state per capita wage, whichever is lower.  The investment and jobs must be achieved over a five-year period and the jobs must be maintained for an additional three years.

Property Tax Exemptions and Abatements: Pursuant to new legislation, 14.2857% of the property tax value of manufacturing property assessed for property tax purposes will be exempt from property taxation; provided, however, that the total amount of the exemption for all entities in the State for that fiscal year will not exceed $85 million.  For any year in which the amount is projected to exceed $85 million, the exemption amount shall be proportionally reduced.  This new exemption is being phased in in equal installments over six years beginning in 2018. Please note that this exemption does not apply to property under a Fee-in-Lieu agreement.

Additionally, South Carolina offers a five-year abatement from county operating taxes for new and expanding manufacturing and research and development facilities investing at least $50,000 in the facility. Generally, the county’s operating portion makes up about 25% to 50% of the local millage rate and does not include the school districts’ portion. A five-year abatement does not apply to property under a Fee-in-Lieu agreement.

Corporate Income Tax Moratorium: Companies that create net new jobs in certain economically distressed counties in South Carolina can qualify for a corporate income tax moratorium. Under this program, the Company’s entire state corporate income tax liability may be eliminated. At least 90% of the company’s total investment must be in a county where the unemployment rate is twice the state average. The length of the moratorium varies from 10 to 15 years and is contingent on the number of net new full-time jobs created. Chesterfield, Dillon, and Jasper Counties are the only designated moratorium counties for 2023.

JOB TRAINING                  

readySC and Apprenticeship Carolina: These two programs provide recruiting, training, and workforce development tools through the South Carolina Technical College System. Through the Apprenticeship program, eligible businesses can also receive a tax credit of up to $1,000 for each registered apprentice employed for at least 7 months during a year. This credit may be claimed for up to 4 years.

Last Updated: April 2023

Tax Credits

Incentives & Exemptions

Grant and Financing Programs

Special Zoning

Job Training

Financing & Financial Assistance

Local Incentives

Other Programs

Interested in Learning More?

Contact us today at 609.924.9775 or info@blsstrategies.comto schedule an initial incentives strategy consultation.
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