Road Funding: A Guide for the Perplexed

WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM? WHO SPENDS IT? AND WHO ARE THEY ANSWERABLE TO? The debate over road funding has seen a number of outrageous and contradictory claims: on the one hand, for example, we’re told that the Department of Transportation (DOT) faces a $43 billion shortfall, but also that it’s a flawlessly run […]

Lawmakers Continue to Raid Victims’ Funds

IT’S MONEY. THEY WANT TO SPEND IT. THAT SETTLES IT. ANY QUESTIONS? In a little remarked upon move, South Carolina House members scrambled last month to insert line items from a failed bond package into the Capital Reserve Fund and Part 1B (provisos) of the state budget. To do that, members had to make minor […]

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House Budget: Misplaced Priorities

THE HOUSE FOUND MONEY FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS PROJECTS, BUT NOT FOR CORE SERVICES The recent House-passed FY16 budget is the largest of the three versions of the budget released this year (the other two include the governor’s budget and the House Ways and Means budget). The House budget restores the trend of each successive version […]

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S.C. Going the Wrong Way on Road Funding

FOR HOUSE LAWMAKERS, ROAD FUNDING IS ABOUT BUILDING NEW ROADS, ‘ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT’ – AND JUST ABOUT ANYTHING BUT FIXING THE STATE’S CRUMBLING ROADS AND BRIDGES.  Lawmakers are quick to bemoan the state of South Carolina’s roads and bridges, and virtually all have stated an intention to do something about it in 2015, but something terrible happens each time they’re […]

Why S.C.’s Deeper in Debt Than They Say

THE HOUSE IS DEBATING A $497 BOND PACKAGE. IT’S TERRIBLE IDEA, FOR LOTS OF REASONS. NOW TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT LAWMAKERS WANT TO SPEND THE MONEY ON. This week the House will consider a nearly half-billion dollar Capital Improvement Bond bill. The proposal is being considered as Part III of the General Appropriations Act. […]

Why the Infrastructure Bank Should Go

IT SERVES ITS PURPOSES, ALL RIGHT . . . AND THEY’RE ALL BAD As lawmakers and the governor seek to add more revenue to, and possibly reform, South Carolina’s broken transportation system, there is one glaringly obvious issue hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves: eliminating the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB). There is no entity […]

Sketchy Numbers Behind Road Funding Debate

‘STATE HOUSE ECONOMICS’ AT ITS FINEST The state’s roads are crumbling, according to the popular refrain, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) claims it faces a nearly $43 billion shortfall between the current year and 2040. This works out to just under a $1.5 billion annual shortfall. To address this problem, Gov. Nikki Haley has proposed […]

Gov. Haley’s Budget: Same Deal, More Money

THE GOVERNOR DOUBLES DOWN, PHONES IT IN Update* Budget documents prepared by the Executive Budget Office not available at the time of initial publication reveal an even larger executive budget. The full executive budget comes in at $26 billion, an $890 million increase in total appropriations over last year’s budget. Gov. Nikki Haley has released her […]

Good & Bad Ideas on Roads

WHAT YOUR POLICYMAKERS ARE HEARING & SAYING Two recent meetings – the House Ad Hoc Transportation Review Committee, and a York Town Hall addressed by Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York) – have given us a glimpse of what lawmakers are planning for 2015 on the subject of road construction and maintenance. At both of these meetings, […]

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Roads: Is Raising Taxes Really the Only Option?

LAWMAKERS SEEM TO THINK SO. A LITTLE EFFORT MIGHT BE IN ORDER. Tax hikes are on the mind of legislators. At least that’s what the October 30 meeting of the Ad Hoc Transportation Committee would lead any observer to believe. The first half of the committee meeting was taken up by presentations from representatives of […]