While Highland Park, Texas is moving forward with fire sprinkler requirements in new homes, South Carolina is having trouble passing sprinkler mandates.
This article from The Post and Courier; Charleston.net explains that There are two separate bills being proposed. A House bill is being proposed that will provide tax incentive of 80% of the cost of the sprinkler system up to $50,000.00. The Senate is proposing a bill that will provide 50% of the cost of the sprinkler system; 25% from the state the other 25% from local property tax relief. The States portion would only be made available if the local governments offered a property tax credit.
Obviously there are proponents and opponents to this system. One opponent, Governor Mark Sanford, argues that;
‘Although the property-owners who install fire sprinklers under this legislation will be the primary beneficiaries of increased fire safety, the taxpayers will shoulder nearly all of the costs.'”
I’m not a tax expert and don’t claim to know the ins and outs of our tax system. Having said that, it makes sense to me that the “taxpayers” would shoulder some burden for business getting tax breaks because it’s money not going into the system to pay for infrastructure. On the other hand, the sprinkler systems, once they’re installed and working, will save citizens hundreds of thousands of dollars if a fire ever breaks out in one of the formerly unsprinklered buildings. So yeah, it definitely is an investment but the investment will pay itself back 10 fold if even one fire breaks out.