Post Tagged with: "gas tax"

Road Maintenance Debate Could Affect Coast

February 7, 2017 5:36 AM
Travis Bell Photographers

An interesting debate on road maintenance funding appears to be forming in the SC General Assembly that could have ramifications for coastal Horry County.

Estimates in Columbia project the state needs over $1 billion annually of new revenue to fix and maintain the state’s crumbling road system.

A bill has been introduced to raise the gas tax by 10 cents over a period of five years, along with other fee increases on things like automobile registrations, automobile purchases and the like. That bill, if passed, is estimated to contribute approximately $600 million per year when fully implemented.

An increase in the gas tax gets the state about 50% toward its goal. How to get the rest of the way? Casino gambling at the coast with the tax and fee revenue generated going back to Columbia to fund road maintenance.

The desire for casino gambling has never left the minds of certain players along the Grand Strand.

In 2009, this group put its initial support behind Gresham Barrett in the governor’s race. Remember the $85,000 funneled to Barrett that was part of Coastal Kickback?

But Barrett lost to Nikki Haley and talk of casino gambling faded into the background. Now Haley is gone and new Gov. Henry McMaster is, reportedly, at least willing to listen to the arguments for signing a casino gambling bill if it passed by the General Assembly.

According to our sources, at five different local sites are being discussed for possible casinos: the old Myrtle Square Mall site, what is called the South Mixed Use District (part of the Municipal Improvement District being planned in Myrtle Beach), a site near the intersection of S.C. 22 and S.C. 31, a site on S.C. 9 and the former Hard Rock Park site.

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Our State Legislators and Tax Increases

December 7, 2016 4:41 AM
Our State Legislators and Tax Increases

Horry & Georgetown Republican elected state legislators are behaving more like Chicken Little than responsible problem solvers.

We may be a Red State, but our Horry & Georgetown elected Republican state legislators still act like tax and spend Democrats. This is somewhat surprising after the message that was just sent to the “ruling class” during this past general election. Donald Trump received more primary votes than just about every Republican candidate running prior to his bid for the presidency. The populace is definitely tired of tax and spend Republicans and the establishment Republican Party. Evidently our local elected Republicans did not get the message.

No one would argue against coming up with a plan to fix South Carolina roads as they are in desperate need of repair. However, the current knee jerk reaction (the sky is falling, the sky is falling, raise taxes!), is not the responsible course of action. In manufacturing and other successful business entities, when a problem is identified, the company initiates a formal corrective action process. This process begins by clearly defining the problem and then doing the necessary homework to identify root causes of the problem. Future containment actions and corrective actions stem from the root cause analysis.

Numerous organizations within South Carolina and some responsible Republican office holders have identified the primary root causes to South Carolina’s bad roads. These root causes fall into the following categories:

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SC Senate Committee Approves Gas Tax Hike

February 5, 2016 5:10 AM
SC Senate Committee Approves Gas Tax Hike

The SC Senate Finance Committee voted 14-8 this week to approve a 12 cents per gallon gas tax hike for next year’s budget.

This move was part of an overall vote to replace a SC House road repair plan, approved last year, with one written by the Senate. The House plan approved a 10 cents per gallon gas tax increase.

The Senate plan includes more revenue raising proposals including an increase in driver’s license fees, an increase to a maximum cap of $600 sales tax on a vehicle, up from the current $300. Also included were additional fees on hybrid and electrical vehicles.

The House plan provided for a small cut of state income tax while the Senate plan provides for no tax cuts.

If the Senate plan gains approval from the full Senate, it will have to go back to the House for approval. However, several senators have already placed the plan on the contested calendar meaning the full Senate will have to vote to bring the bill before the full body.

Additionally, if Gov. Nikki Haley sticks to her word, she will veto the plan, if it ultimately passes both houses, because no offsetting tax cuts are included.

It is interesting to note, Senate proponents of the plan are already broadcasting how much of the tax will be paid by non-SC residents. The current estimate is 30%.

This is always an interesting argument that proponents of tax hikes always use to make the tax more palatable for their non-thinking constituents. Tell them how much will be paid by tourists or other outside groups.

What is never mentioned is South Carolina residents will be paying 100% of the tax year around. What percentage of gross revenues may come from tourists or others traveling through the state is really not a consideration for the South Carolina citizens who will be paying the increased tax all the time.

This debate will only become more interesting as the legislative year progresses.

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Two Road Funding Plans Introduced in S.C. House

February 12, 2015 6:30 AM
Two Road Funding Plans Introduced in S.C. House

As expected, two road funding plans were introduced in the S.C. House yesterday.

Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York) and Chairman of the House Ad Hoc Transportation Committee introduced H.3579, a bill crafted around the recommendations of the study committee.

Rep. Tommy Stringer (R-Greenville) introduced H.3580, a bill that mirrors the gas tax/income tax plan outlined by Gov. Nikki Haley in her State of the State address last month.

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S.C. General Assembly and New Taxes

November 24, 2014 7:00 AM
S.C. General Assembly and New Taxes

The S.C. General Assembly will be hearing proposals for new taxes in January and they won’t be coming from Democrats.

It looks like Grover Norquist and his pledge will be forgotten when the S.C. General Assembly convenes in January looking for more money for the state’s crumbling roads and inadequate schools.

Need more funding for road maintenance and repair? Raise the gas tax.

Need more money for schools? Pass a new property tax.

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SC General Assembly Pre-filed Bills

December 30, 2013 7:00 AM
SC General Assembly Pre-filed Bills

Pre-filed bills for an upcoming session of the SC General Assembly always provide interesting reading, especially in an election year.

Three definitely caught our eye in recent weeks.

Sen. Katrina Shealy is evidently trying to give her friend Gov. Nikki Haley a campaign issue by filing a bill that proposes to eliminate the state’s income tax over a five-year period.

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