College of Charleston board candidate questioned over missing tax returns
COLUMBIA — Lawmakers are expressing concerns before today’s college board elections about the qualifications of a candidate questioned about speeding tickets and not filing a tax return for several years.
C of C Board of Trustees
Current board members: Gregory D. Padgett, chair; G. Lee Mikell, vice chair; Frank M. Gadsden, secretary; Donald H. Belk; J. Philip Bell; John Hartnett Busch; Demetria Noisette Clemons; L. Cherry Daniel; James F. Hightower; William D. Johnson; Marie M. Land; Lawrence R. Miller; Annaliza Oehmig Moorhead; Toya D. Pound; Daniel Ravenel; Jeff M. Schilz; Joseph F. Thompson Jr.; and John B. Wood Jr.Other facts: Board has final authority over governance of the college and oversees strategic planning and ensures adequate financial resources, among other roles.Board meets five times per year for two days at a time.Board members receive $35 per day for meetings and mileage reimbursements.Source: College of Charleston
Pansy King-Reid of Fort Mill, the sister of state Rep. John King, D-Rock Hill, is one of two candidates for the 5th Congressional District seat on the College of Charleston’s Board of Trustees.
Like other college board candidates in South Carolina, King-Reid last month testified before a panel of state representatives and senators charged with screening candidates.
The exact circumstances of King-Reid’s tax issues are ill-defined. That’s because the legislative panel only briefly questioned her about taxes and did not specify what years she did not file a return. King-Reid has not responded to repeated requests by The Post and Courier for comment. And a spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Revenue said the agency could not disclose taxpayer information.
GOP Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler of Gaffney, chairman of the screening panel, asked King-Reid about taxes during the hearing.
She confirmed under oath that she hadn’t filed a tax return for a period of five years but did file a tax return this year, according to a transcript of her testimony. It was not clear whether King-Reid referred to state or federal tax returns, or both.
“How did you get by with that?” Peeler asked King-Reid.
“I was a stay-at-home mom, and alimony and child support, basically child support,” she replied.
Alimony is taxable in the state where the recipient lives and requires the filing of a tax return. King-Reid did not specify where she lived during the period.
Walhalla GOP Rep. Bill Whitmire, the panel’s vice chairman, also has expressed concerns about King-Reid’s tax history.
John King insisted his sister is qualified for the seat, saying she has a master’s degree. He would not comment further.
King-Reid told Peeler and other panel members that for the past six months, she has worked in South Carolina as marketing director for Chestnut law firm based in Gainesville, Fla. It does not have an office in South Carolina. The firm confirmed King-Reid works there.
King-Reid said for the period she didn’t file a tax return, she was married and was told she didn’t need to file a tax return because she was only receiving child support.
She did not specify who told her she did not need to file a tax return. Child support is not taxable and doesn’t require the recipient to file a tax return, according to the Revenue Department.
King-Reid is the ex-wife of former NBA player J.R. Reid.
According to state law, income earned while working in South Carolina is taxable by the state. She told the panel that South Carolina is her home.
Neither King-Reid nor panel members specified where King-Reid lived during the period she did not file tax returns.
Peeler also questioned King-Reid about seven speeding tickets she received over a decade.
She attributed the two most recent tickets to having to rush her nieces, who she said have sickle cell anemia, to the hospital.
Whitmire said during last month’s hearing that “there are a lot of red flags here” with King-Reid’s candidacy.
He said he was particularly concerned about her not filing tax returns for several years.
Still, Whitmire recommended that the panel deem King-Reid qualified, which it did.
Lawmakers today will choose between King-Reid and Michael Todd Warrick, a Sumter doctor, for the 5th Congressional District seat on the C of C board. Dozens of other college board seats also will be filled.