COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Gov. Nikki Haley is demanding that South Carolina state senators cut more taxes.
The Republican governor said Tuesday the Senate needs to include in its 2012-13 spending plan a reduction in personal income taxes.
Haley criticized the Senate as the chamber opened floor debate on the Finance Committee's budget proposal.
Gov. Haley said, ??The Senate has a choice today: in a $6.1 billion dollar budget, will they give 1.6% back in tax relief or spend it? This is not partisan. This is about responsibility - to the taxpayers and small businesses of this state. This is the taxpayers?? money, not the legislature??s.??
Haley says she appreciates that the plan incorporates a bill reducing taxes paid by small business owners. That four-year phase-in is expected to reduce revenue by $15 million next year. But Haley insists the Senate include a second tax-cutting bill. The bill as passed by the House last month doesn't take effect until 2013, but Haley says the $78 million should be set aside now.
??The budget is the ultimate expression of our priorities as a government, as a state,?? said Gov. Haley. ??It is time for us to show South Carolina ?? and everyone else ?? that in our state, jobs, the people and our businesses come first.??
Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman says the budget already includes $752 million in tax relief.
Click here to read the governor's letter to senators.
Click here to review the state budget chart presented by the governor in a Tuesday press conference.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)