Today, those for real relief realized that true reform is dead. The bill is still the local option and moves the bill to conference committee. If this legislation dies in conference committee, it may be a good thing. The last members in the crows nest as the ship sunk were: Campsen, Grooms, Hutto, Reece, Ryberg, Sheheen, Short, Verdin, & myself. The bill passed unanimously, but my quandary is this: Do I enter a “nay” vote in the journal for principles sake? I decided to vote “nay” on the bill and “aye” on the constitutional amendment. Below is the statement recorded in the journal:
The only positive achievement of this legislation is that it succeeds in moving the debate forward to a conference committee. It alone provides little hope that property taxes will decline anytime in the near future. Indeed, this legislation simply passes the buck to the local level where, ironically, the only change in property taxes over the last several years has been their dramatic increase. We remain extremely frustrated at our inability to provide real, meaningful, across the board property tax relief to homeowners in South Carolina. We hope that the conference committee will report out legislation that does.