S.309 – Doubling the budget of the South Carolina Research Authority
S.309 would essentially double the budget of the SC Research Authority, a state-owned venture capital firm by doubling the cap on available tax credits for the “Industry Partnership Trust Fund”. The cap would increase to $12 million (from $6 million), but decrease the individual tax credit from $2 million to $250,000. It would also prevent SCRA board members from receiving this credit, a conflict of interest that is currently legal.
Current law awards the tax credit on a first-come, first-served basis, but this bill also requires those individuals to “make a commitment satisfactory to the SCRA.” This vague language appears to allow the SCRA board broad discretion in who receives the tax credits.
The state should not have a tax funded venture capital firm at all, especially one as unaccountable and nontransparent as the SCRA, so doubling its budget through tax credits is a very concerning idea.