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Konduros ready to work with state chamber on tax reforms

Molly Hulsey //March 6, 2020//

Konduros ready to work with state chamber on tax reforms

Molly Hulsey //March 6, 2020//

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Sam Konduros, CEO and president of economic development organization SCBio, says he looks forward to tackling franchise tax and business licenses among other issues on the S.C. Chamber of Commerce board of directors executive committee this year. His appointment to the committee was announced Thursday.

Konduros“What has been really encouraging is how much collaboration is going on at the state level right now on some legislative issues and some potential legislative issues that we want to undertake to enhance the business environment in the state,” Konduros said.

Konduros said he and the chamber’s executive committee have advocated for tax reform over the past year and the issue remains at the forefront of their agenda for 2020.

“One of the top issues for the South Carolina Chamber this year has been to improve the situation around business licensees that become very costly for a lot of small and large businesses across the state,” Konduros said. “There is active legislation on that front.”

The chamber also hopes to catalyze new legislation on franchise taxes this year, a tax levied by 16 states across the nation, according to Konduros. He says that this type of taxation is retrogressive and does not take into account South Carolina’s recent spike in growth or the risks of testing new technology.

“It is unlikely that in decades past that we would have envisioned companies, say in the life sciences arena, generating and needing to attract investors and revenue at the tens of millions-dollar level in order to fund research, development, FDA trials, etc., in order to try to bring a new technology, a new solution for patients, to the market,” Konduros said. “That can be a very expensive and risky proposition.”

The current franchise tax taxes investor revenue for companies that have not yet commercialized a developing technology and, therefore, are not generating revenue from the product, according to Konduros.

“These are unintended consequences from the past, but we have a state that is working very hard not only to attract companies and support the companies that are here but also to build our own companies fueled by the technologies that they are developing and make sure that we try to reward them for building these companies here and not elsewhere,” Konduros said.

Konduros was nominated by Steve Spinks, chairman of the state chamber. Since 2013, he has served the chamber in several capacities, including on the executive committee, but says he stepped away from the role for a time until re-nominated by previous chairman Lou Kennedy and now Spinks.

“With the South Carolina Chamber being the leading voice of business for the entire state, covering all areas of industry and business, it makes it very meaningful for me in my role to help spearhead our mission to build, advance and grow the life sciences industry and represent that major segment, which is very intertwined with healthcare, on the executive committee,” he said.