SC DOT Commission Gas Tax

How the DOT Commission Plans to Spend New Gas Tax Revenue

Last week the Department of Transportation (DOT) Commission and the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) met for the first time since the gas tax bill passed. Both meetings were focused on adjusting to new laws and planning for the way ahead. More to the point, they confirmed that there is a very real possibility that […]

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SC legislative ethics process

Lawmakers, Corruption, and Accountability

The process of investigating and prosecuting corruption in the legislature is confusing and complicated – at best. At worst, it is specifically designed to shield lawmakers from legal scrutiny and consequences for unethical behavior. Last year the General Assembly passed a law purporting to end lawmakers’ power to police their own ethics violations. It didn’t, […]

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Will New Gas Tax Revenue Go to Roads?

LAWMAKERS PROMISED THE MONEY WOULD GO TO MAINTAIN ROADS.  STATE OFFICIALS SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT HAPPENS. On July 1, the gas tax hike went into effect. Drivers across the state are now paying more for gas, higher sales tax on vehicles, and increased registration fees. However, there is a risk that this new revenue could be diverted […]

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Only Three Liquor Stores? A Tale of Regulation

HOW A SIMPLE, WELL-INTENDED REGULATION TURNED INTO A TANGLED MESS Earlier this year, a report at The Nerve detailed an attempt by a few lawmakers to insert a budget proviso into the state budget. This proviso – a one-year budget law – would effectively limit the number of brick-and-mortar liquor stores a person or company […]

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The State Budget: What You’re Spending in 2017

GOVERNMENT OUTPACING THE ECONOMY – BY A LOT The General Assembly just passed a $27.42 billion budget – by far the largest in state history and a $1.1 billion increase from last year. As in past years, lawmakers ignored state laws requiring a transparent and coherent budget process and instead cobbled together the state spending plan […]

How Can Citizens Get Answers on Roads?

THE SYSTEM MAKES IT DIFFICULT – BUT IT’S NOT IMPOSSIBLE South Carolina’s transportation system is not accountable to any one elected official, and that’s by design. Even so, after several years of pressure from citizens and some piecemeal changes to the law, there are ways for South Carolinians to engage with transportation policymakers. (1) Citizens […]

The Gas Tax Hike Passed. Now What?

IF YOU WANT TO HOLD TRANSPORTATION POLICYMAKERS ACCOUNTABLE, HERE’S HOW. After three years of effort, lawmakers raised the gas tax (and a host of related taxes and fees). In the process they slightly altered the structure of the Department of Transportation, but the changes don’t amount to the kind of restructuring that would ensure accountability: […]

Ending Legal Corruption – A Progress Report

WHERE DO WE STAND ON ETHICS REFORM? Since the Policy Council released its eight-point reform agenda in 2013, several lawmakers have been indicted and the General Assembly has passed a number of incremental reforms. Corruption flourishes in the combination of concentrated power and secrecy. In South Carolina, the bulk of state power is firmly in […]

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Friday Follies: A Tax Exemption for … Huh?

A TAX BREAK FOR FOOD AND CLOTHING IN THE PREPARATION OF PERISHABLE FOOD. THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. It’s often the case, and South Carolina is no exception. Lawmakers tend to view the sales tax provisions in state law, not as a means of raising revenue to carry out the necessary functions of government, but rather […]

Category: Legislation Analysis, Tax Reform, Taxes · Tags:

Disclosure: What the Law Does & Doesn’t Require

LAST YEAR’S DISCLOSURE LAW LEAVES OUT A LOT – A LOT THAT YOU CAN ASK FOR Last month, we launched Project Income Disclosure with the aim of giving citizens a way to ask for voluntary transparency on matters of income. Taxpayers have a right to know about the financial relationships existing between their elected officials and […]

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