The most important yet challenging reform of the post-World War I-era was perceived by the South Carolina white reformers to be tax reform. As all other reforms that concerned the expansion of state services and increasing state revenue, the increases in state spending experienced during the administration of Governor Richard Manning initiated the need for cutting back on government spending. Increased spending entailed higher property taxes since the revenue of South Carolina mostly resulted from property taxes. In order to avoid the occurrence of a tax revolt, reformers promoted tax reform since state revenue may either stagnate or experience a significant decline. This chapter explains how the proposed tax structure involved shifting the tax burden away from agricultural property, enabling taxation according to the capacity to generate income, and other issues on tax income not obtained from owning property.
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