The South Carolina Property Tax Reform Bill was signed into law in June 2006 creating a new way of generating money for public education in South Carolina. The Property Tax Reform Act eliminated 100% of the fair market value of 4% owner-occupied property for the purposes of taxation for school operations. Additionally, the Act increased the sales tax by 1% on most goods. Further, the Act limited a local school district's ability to raise additional revenue.
The following qualitative study used historical research design with an emphasis on oral history. The researcher used the wealth neutrality theory for the theoretical basis. The purpose of this study was to describe the 2006 political climate that changed sources of revenue for public education. The study focused on the following overarching question: What were the political influences on the South Carolina General Assembly's 2006 enactment of Act 388, South Carolina Property Tax Reform Bill?
Among the responses to interviews, sixteen participants described their views of the importance and meaning of Act 388 in terms of taxpayer burden or alternately in terms of effects on public schools. The participants were selected from public officials including former and current members of the South Carolina General Assembly, grass-roots taxpayer groups along with business and real estate representatives, media and other public policy observers and analysts. During the 2010 session of the South Carolina Legislature, the study participants responded to a structured interview protocol with three sets of questions and associated follow-up probes.