Gas Tax Plans: More of the Same

S.C. POLITICOS HAVE  PRODUCED AT LEAST FOUR MAJOR PLANS TO “FIX OUR ROADS.” NOT ONE OF THEM WILL ACCOMPLISH THAT GOAL. HERE’S WHY. How would a massive tax hike fix all our roads and bridges and cut our income taxes? It won’t. But that hasn’t stopped South Carolina politicians from pushing multiple versions of this […]

ANALYSIS: Senate Compromise on Road Funding

A COMPROMISE? SURE. A COMPILATION OF ALL THIS YEAR’S BAD IDEAS? THAT TOO. Last week, a majority of Senate Republicans produced a compromise on the subject of road funding. At this point, the legislation itself isn’t available to the public; we only have a press release. But if that release accurately reveals the plan’s details, the […]

The Myth of the Tax Swap

STATE HOUSE ECONOMICS, CHAPTER II Following the governor’s lead on tax swaps, more than 20 Senate Republicans unveiled the outline of a compromise amendment to the Senate Finance gas tax bill. The heart of the proposal is the swap of a 1 percent cut to all income tax brackets for a variety of tax and […]

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FAST FACTS: A Tax Hike for Roads?

There has been endless talk about “road plans,” but in truth there is no plan to fix roads – the only debate in Columbia is over raising taxes. The promises of income tax cuts are empty. What’s worse, all the new money will go into the same system run by the same legislative leaders who […]

UPDATE: State Budget on Senate Floor

LAWMAKERS’ PRIORITIES: MORE DEBT, HEEDLESS INCREASES TO STATE COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES This week the state Senate is debating the state budget produced by the Senate Finance Committee. This spending plan, unsurprisingly, is the largest budget produced this cycle, weighing in at $26.1 billion (that’s including a $1.5 billion appropriation for food stamps that was moved in […]

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Senate Finance Passes Massive Tax, Fee Hike

• Committee raises gas tax by 12¢, with 2¢ increase each year • Doubles vehicle sales tax cap • Doubles House tax hike • Lawmakers say it would raise $800 million – largest in state history • Committee rejects even weak reforms to state’s road funding system • Citizens would pay more money for system they have no […]

Who Holds the General Assembly Accountable?

ANSWER: NO ONE. CONSIDER A RECENT ATTEMPT TO RAISE REVENUE IN THE SENATE. The General Assembly has long dominated South Carolina politics. Members of the House of Representative and Senate elect judges, perform executive functions such as procurement, and investigate and punish ethics violations in their own bodies. The pervasive nature of legislative dominance is […]

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Bill Would Impose Sales Tax on Web Purchases

LATEST ATTEMPT TO GET STATE HANDS ON NEW REVENUE MAY ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS OF LEGALITY, CONSTITUTIONALITY South Carolina’s sales tax is unfair in its imposition and isn’t producing enough revenue. At least that appears to be the opinion of many senators. Several who take that view introduced a measure they no doubt believe will help to […]

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Fixing Our Roads: Real Answers, in Plain English

THROWING MORE AND MORE MONEY AT A BROKEN SYSTEM IS HOW WE WOUND UP WITH A DECREPIT ROAD SYSTEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE WAY FORWARD IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Over three years ago, our policy analysts began warning that, thanks to South Carolina’s convoluted government structure, road maintenance was being neglected throughout most of the […]

Weak, Confusing Ethics Bill Has One More Shot

● One last chance for this year’s omnibus “ethics” bill ● Self-policing provision makes little actual improvement ● Income disclosure provision contains loopholes, exceptions The Senate may take one more shot at ethics reform when the legislature returns from break next week. The chamber has already taken one shot at passing a bill this year, […]

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