CHARLESTON, S.C. — Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday that a change in the state's tax law will help boost business activity and second-home ownership across South Carolina.

"What it does is get the real estate market across the state churning again," Haley said during a ceremonial signing of the state's new point-of-sale law.

Under the law, businesses and owners of property taxed at 6 percent, including second homes, no longer pay taxes on the sales price of the property. Instead they pay at a reduced rate but no less than the current tax value.

"We had a problem with second home ownership that was starting to fall terribly in South Carolina," the governor said, adding it won't be the first tax issue her administration will take up.

"We need to look at the entire tax structure and you will see us propose to the General Assembly where we need to go with tax reform in South Carolina so that it is permanent, long term and competitive with the rest of the country," she said.

She did not say specifically what she planned to propose, adding she would talk with lawmakers first.

Haley signed the point-of-sale law two months ago.

Supporters of the change in the point-of-sale law said South Carolina's 2006 law protecting property owners from huge tax bill increases depressed real estate sales and stifled related businesses that depend on them.

The law limits tax increases for an owner-occupied home as long as the owner keeps it. But bills can rise sharply when a home is sold.

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Real estate agents said the law caused buyers to walk away from purchases in South Carolina because of new, higher tax bills. They also said it made South Carolina property more expensive than in nearby states.

The change was a compromise worked out with developers and the real estate industry as well as the state School Board Association, Municipal Association and state Association of Counties.

Rusty Garrett of Anderson, the president of South Carolina Realtors, said "putting South Carolinians back to work is inextricably tied to a recovery in the real estate sector."

He added that "point-of-sale reform will create new jobs and spur investment and development across the state of South Carolina.

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