Sen. McCain comes by the drug store


Sen. John McCain dropped by the drug store today to offer his support of Bryant for Senate. Actually, Sen. McCain was shipped via Fed Ex folded up in a package. It does look kinda real though doesn’t it?

Powdersville Post: “Whatever way you slice it”, Bryant said “it’s a tax hike”

Bryant: taxpayers should receive assessment notices sooner

By Nathan DiBagno
Published:

Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:43 AM CDT
Editor

news@powdersvillepost.com

ANDERSON COUNTY – Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, said taxpayers need to be better informed about the reassessed value of their homes and how that will affect their taxes.

That’s why he and other legislators have begun working on legislature that would require counties to send reassessment notices to homeowners at least 60 days before the end of the county’s fiscal year, he said.

This would give taxpayers more time to know whether their property values and taxes are increasing, he said.

“It’s something that lots of my constituents have called me about,” he said. “They feel like they’ve been left in the dark.”

It would also make local governments more transparent, he said.

Currently, South Carolina law requires counties to appraise property every five years and send notices to the owners if it’s worth more than $1,000, but there’s no specific time frame the notices needs to be provided.

Bryant said taxpayers often don’t receive their reassessment notices until about the same time they receive their tax notices near the end of the year, which gives them just a few months to pay their taxes.

The lack of a millage increase alone doesn’t mean there can’t still be a tax hike, Bryant said.

This year, for example, Anderson County’s millage has not increased since last year, but the value of a mill is likely to increase considerably, since this is a reassessment year.

Anderson County’s budget has increased from about $125 million to $150 million, but at the same time, the millage rate has actually decreased from 79.9 to 75.4.

The explanation for this, according to the county’s finance staff, is that the value of a mill has increased from about $511,000 to $565,000.

Whatever way you slice it, Bryant said it’s a tax hike.

“If you’re paying more this year than last year, it’s a tax increase,” he said.

Anderson County Assessor Mike Freeman said that property owners are allowed to appeal the notice within 90 days, but they’re only allowed one appeal per year, according to state law.

During 2003 – Anderson County’s last reassessment year – the reassessment notices were issued in May, Freeman said.

This year, they will be issued later in the year, as county employees have had to deal with a transitioning software system and recent changes in property tax law that were issued in 2006, according to Freeman.

Bryant plans to pre-file the legislation in December before the 2009 legislative session, according to a press release from his office.

Anderson County Assessor Mike Freeman said that property owners are allowed to appeal the notice within 90 days, but they’re only allowed one appeal per year, according to state law.

During 2003 – Anderson County’s last reassessment year – the reassessment notices were issued in May, Freeman said.

This year, they will be issued later in the year, as county employees have had to deal with a transitioning software system and recent changes in property tax law that were issued in 2006, according to Freeman.

Bryant plans to pre-file the legislation in December before the 2009 legislative session, according to a press release from his office.

Copyright © 2008 – The Powdersville Post

waffle house wedding?

Scattered, smothered, covered and hitched (gwinnettdailypost.com)
DACULA – As the famous twang of Hank Williams Jr. blasted from an SUV stereo Friday afternoon, about 30 folks socialized, sipped soda and puffed on cigarettes.

No, this wasn’t a Fourth of July backyard barbecue. It was the run-up to a wedding.

In a Waffle House parking lot.

The lucky couple, George “Bubba” Mathis and Pamela Christian – both 23 and employees at the Dacula diner located at the Ga. Highway 316/U.S. Highway 29 interchange – wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I don’t know, it’s something different,” Mathis said while fixing his tie prior to the ceremony.

For years, the couple tried to marry on their Independence Day anniversary. But the bride was always scheduled to work. Instead of waiting any longer – she got the day off at the last minute; Mathis had to report for the morning shift – the couple of nine years decided to seal the deal at work…for the full article

 

first cartoon!

My friend, Andy Brack over at the South Carolina Statehouse Report has a cartoon of yours truly.

Powdersville Post: Bryant vows to keep pushing for government reform

By Nathan DiBagno Published: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 2:34 PM CDT Editor

Copyright © 2008 – The Powdersville Post

news@powdersvillepost.com

ANDERSON COUNTY – Since stepping into office in 2004, S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, has pushed for government reform and the need to put the brakes on government control.

“Since the beginning, we’ve been pushing for reform, pushing for getting away from the good ole’ boy system,” says Bryant, a pharmacist and president of Bryant Pharmacy and supply.

And while the taxpayers’ paychecks haven’t increase much in the past few years, government has grown about 40 percent, he said.

Some of legislators’ efforts to cut taxes have been successful recently. “We’ve eliminated the lowest bracket of income taxes, we eliminated the sales tax on groceries. And that’s simply puts more money in the pockets of our consumers, which in turn grows our economy. Had we returned more to the taxpayer than we did, than certainly some of our economic problems wouldn’t be as great.”

Some reform efforts have also been successful, he said.

“We’ve did meet some of those goals, reforming the Department of Transportation, which will make is more efficient,” he said.

Family values

“I was excited to see marriage defined in our Constitution,” Bryant said, referring to an amendment that passed in 2006 that specifically defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Also, Bryant was one of the main proponents of a bill that requires abortion clinics to offer an ultrasound to women who are considering having an abortion.

“This simply makes that very difficult choice of a person in a very difficult situation more informed,” he said.

Government accountability

Bryant has called for more government accountability, and was one of the proponents in the “Truth in Spending Bill,” which would require that state agencies, counties, municipalities and school districts post online all expenditures of at least $100.

“The Freedom of Information process we have now is backwards. The taxpayer has to jump through hoops now to get information they paid for to begin with. The burden should be on the government to provide that information,” he said. “I believe that the accountability alone will save millions of dollars.”

Education

Bryant said he was pleased that legislature eventually passed a bill to get rid of the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test, which was often criticized for merely testing students without actually assessing their needs.

Bryant said he – as well as other legislators – initially opposed the first bill that proposed scrapping the PACT because it had a “vague description of a new test.”

In the end, legislature passed a bill that scrapped PACT without a test to replace it.

“I was disappointed that (State Superintendent of Education) Jim Rex was pushing this bill to go through, to eliminate PACT and start a new test,” he said. “I was getting hundreds of e-mails, and I would respond and tell them the whole story. They were only getting half the story.”

But education still needs more changes, he said.

“We need to deregulate education, combined with more choices,” he said.

Although he doesn’t want to spend more on education, he wants to simplify the funding process and get more money to the teachers and classrooms, he said.

Energy

If states end up having the right to choose whether to drill offshore, and if gas prices continue to rise, more people will be in favor of drilling offshore, Bryant said.

Bryant said he would be in favor of offshore drilling if South Carolina is allowed to choose, especially if doing so meant that the United States would stop relying on oil from overseas.

Meanwhile, the state should continue to give out tax credits and incentives for energy efficient mobile homes and appliances.

“We’ve got some incentives to try to push the market in this hydrogen research. It’s a long way down the road, but it probably needs to be the direction we need to go towards,” he said. “It’s perfectly safe for the environment.”

Bryant said he would also support a study committee regarding having a refinery in South Carolina.

Health care

“The easiest message is raise taxes, dump money into health care. And we’ve never seen that solution work – for any problem,” he said. “The reality in the position I’m taking is: there needs to be more market-based incentives into the health care system.”

Bryant said a tort reform bill in recent years put a limit on frivolous lawsuits against medical practitioners.

Cutting back on frivolous lawsuits against doctors and making the medical field more desirable should help drive down health care costs in the state.

“We passed a bill .. that allows small businesses to pull together to make a larger group to purchase insurance to make it more affordable,” he said.

Bryant also said he’s a “strong believer” in health savings accounts – tax-free accounts that allow individuals to save for medical expenses.

“Health savings accounts I think would be utilized much more if we could do a better job explaining to the public how it works,” he said. “It’s administered by an insurance company. The money you put into a savings account is tax free, and it can only be spent on true medical expenses, but it puts the consumer back into the picture.”

Bryant said he believes that the upcoming race with Marshall Meadors will be an interesting one. Although their political views may differ, Bryant said he has a lot of respect for Meadors.

“I have many customers that are his patients,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for the way he practices medicine. … He spoils his customers, and he pays them a lot of attention.”

But regardless of who his opponent it, Bryant said he has the same message and beliefs.

“There’s nothing new out of Bryant for Senate than there was four years ago,” he said.

making fuel? unfortunately, we’ve got to pay a tax

A constituent recently approached me and told me he was making his own diesel from used cooking oil. He uses it to travel in his RV. Other RVers from other states have told him that one must file with the state and pay a road tax since there is no tax collected since there is no fuel purchased at the pump. I was unaware of this, yet after some research and help from Senate Staff, we found it to be true in South Carolina. Here’s what you’re supposed to do: Contact the Department of Revenue motor fuel section @ 803-896-1687 for an application for a Miscellaneous Motor Fuel License. They will be able to explain how to file the monthly tax return. There is no fee or bonding requirement for this license which is needed if the Biodiesel is being produced for personal use only, not for sale.

 

 

The Self Reporting Tax Return (Form L-2123) can be found on the SCDOR website.


DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

GUIDELINES FOR REPORTING OF BIODIESEL, SUBSTITUTE FUEL AND

RENEWABLE FUELS PRODUCED FOR PRIVATE USE OR SALE
Product Produced for Private/Personal Use

Producers/Users of biodiesel, substitute fuel and/or renewable fuels on which the motor fuel user fee, inspection and environmental fees have not been previously paid are required to obtain a Motor Fuel License. The license is required if the fuel is to be used in the propulsion of highway vehicles. This requirement to obtain the license and to report and pay the appropriate fees applies but is not limited to cooking oils and biodiesel. A Miscellaneous Motor Fuel License is required for which there is no license fee or bond requirement. The monthly return (Form L-2123) is required to report the gallons used and to calculate and remit the motor fuel user fee ($0.16), inspection fee ($0.0025) and environmental fee ($0.0050) Producers/Users of biodiesel, substitute fuel and/or renewable fuels should report the gallons used in highway vehicles on the Form L-2123, Line 2 under the “Blending Components” column of the report. The type of fuel used should be written on Line 1 above the gallons reported. The monthly report is due by the 22nd day of the month and is required to be filed even if there was no liability or gallons used for the month. Product Produced for Sale and Use Producers/Sellers of biodiesel, substitute fuel and/or renewable fuels are required to obtain a Motor Fuel Manufacturer License. This equirement to obtain the license and to report and pay the appropriate fees applies but is not limited to cooking oils and biodiesel. There is no license fee but there is a bonding or financial statement requirement. The monthly return (Form L-2195) is required to report the gallons manufactured and to calculate and remit the motor fuel user fee ($0.16), inspection fee ($0.0025) and environmental fee ($0.0050). The monthly report is due by the 22nd day of the month and is required to be filed even if there was no liability or gallons manufactured for the month. Please contact the Motor Fuel Section at (803) 896-1990 to request the license application or if you need additional information.

 

should we consider traffic circles?

Overview of Modern Roundabouts

    Modern roundabouts are the prettiest and safest form of traffic control in the world. Roundabouts slow all vehicles, provide refuges for pedestrians, and are the only traffic control device in which trees can be planted, fountains can bubble or spray, statutes can sparkle into the next century. When constructed as part of new road construction they are cheaper to build than signalized intersections. If used instead of traffic signals they save us all money. Their maintenance cost is almost zero. They require no electricity, no regular tune-ups, no annual replacements of parts, suffer no blackouts and cannot be blown away.

Obama’s Abortion Distortion

The senator’s excuses for opposing the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act don’t withstand scrutiny.
by Kevin Vance The Daily Standard 08/13/2008 12:00:00 AM

IN MARCH 2003, registered nurse Jill Stanek submitted a statement to the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services committee in which she reported that infants who survived abortions at her Oak Lawn hospital were sometimes “taken to the Soiled Utility Room and left alone to die.” Stanek was lobbying the committee to approve the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, which would have recognized any infant born alive after an abortion as a human being deserving legal protection. Barack Obama, then the committee chairman, defeated the bill with his fellow Democrats in a 6-4 party-line vote.
                         
Obama’s campaign website offers two reasons why the senator opposed the bill in 2003. First, the website claims that Obama did not support the state legislation because it lacked language “clarifying that the act would not be used to undermine Roe vs. Wade.” The website cites Obama’s assertion that he would have supported the similar federal born-alive bill, which included language clarifying that it would not undermine Roe v. Wade when it unanimously passed the Senate in 2001.
                    
In fact, the federal legislation and the final version of the Illinois senate bill were essentially the same. On Monday, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) released documents that showed that the Illinois senate committee unanimously approved an amendment that made the state legislation almost identical to the federal legislation. The amendment provided that the act should not be “construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any…

health insurance ala-carte?

Interesting read from Appeal-Democrat from Marysville, California

…Instead, Sacramento should look to Florida and even New Jersey, which point the way to substantially reducing health insurance costs with a more market-based approach.
The Florida Legislature unanimously approved allowing insurance companies to sell stripped-down, no-frills policies, exempted from more than 50 state-imposed mandates, including required coverage for acupuncture and chiropractics…

Lobbyists for every conceivable health care treatment have persuaded states to require insurers to sell the whole menu or nothing. It’s estimated that, nationwide, state mandates impose more than 1,900 individual obligations. But Floridians now can shop cafeteria-style, picking and paying for only the coverage they desire, trimming their costs dramatically and getting only what they deem necessary…

DeMint on Energy

Letter to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell

Dear Senators Reid and McConnell:

It is our hope that Democrats and Republicans will stand together to support American Energy Freedom Day on October 1, 2008. On this day, the current prohibitions on oil and gas exploration off the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and in the oil-shale fields of the West will expire, giving Americans the freedom to access their own energy and providing them with relief from sky-high prices at the pump.

We strongly encourage you to allow the expiration of these prohibitions on American energy exploration and production, as scheduled under current law, and we will actively oppose any attempt to extend them. Now is not the time to deny Americans access to their own energy supply.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you to ensure a victory for the American people on American Energy Freedom Day.

Sincerely,

Senator Jim DeMint

Representative Jeb Hensarling