Pay it forward; lawmakers want taxpayers to donate lotto refund

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A South Carolina lottery player hit big last year winning more than $1 billion in the Mega Millions jackpot. And good news for the state, South Carolina gets to claim the income tax on those winnings.

So far lawmakers have already figured out how the state should spend the money. But not all lawmakers like the proposal that would a piece of that jackpot in your pocket. 

Selling the lottery’s 2nd biggest winning ticket in history wasn’t just good news for the winner but for South Carolina too. 

“I was thrilled to have someone in South Carolina and then knowing that we would get a cut of that,” said Senator Sandy Senn from Charleston. 

The state’s cut of the lottery winnings would come from the income tax on the $900 million lump sum jackpot.

It’s unexpected money that several lawmakers want to use to cut taxpayers a check. 

Representative Murrell Smith, who is the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, explained how the budget shaped up. “What we’re doing in the house is the state will get about $61 million so we’re proposing to use that money for a $50 rebate for taxpayers.”

But a few lawmakers against the idea met tuesday afternoon to deliver this message. “Be smarter than we are,” said Senator Dick Harpootlian. He was one of a handful of lawmakers at the State House Tuesday asking taxpayers to pay it forward.

Senator Senn added,”If the $50 makes a difference to you and your family by all means keep it. But if not if you think it wuold be better spent on education where it was intended to be spent, we ask that you pay it forward. Give it to a teacher, a maintenance man, anywhere that the folks can use it. So y’all can succeed where we failed.” 

1 reason the lawmakers are not on board with the refund checks is because reports show it would cost the state $700k to mail the checks out. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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