Feb 12 2009
S. 12 commonly know as the “trac” bill stands for the Tax Realignment Commission. I blogged on this bill a few days ago here. S. 12 was voted out of the Senate Finance Committee last week without my support. We made several unsuccessful attempts to amend the bill to be more palatable. I’m all for reforming our tax code to make South Carolina more competitive, BUT as you’ve heard, the devil is in the details. For S. 12 to get my support, we need to exorcize a few demons in hiding:
1-delegates legislative power to an unelected body – Many question the constitutionality (or at least irresponsibility) of this legislation. The commission will submit a report to the legislature for a straight up or down vote. Amendments will require 60%.
2-could add to your property taxes – Act 388 gave you property tax relief on your home. I’ll admit that we need to correct some unintended consequences resulting from Act 388 (like the point of sale reassessment), but I can’t support anything that could result in the homeowner getting more property taxes.
3-designed to raise taxes – S. 12 has no revenue neutral requirement. Imagine an unelected commission of bureaucrats with the power to raise your taxes! The make-up of the commission will be primarily government spenders looking into your wallet. Placing the sales tax back on your food is already being talked up.
I’ve joined 10 other conservative members of the Senate in putting my name as “desiring to be present” on S. 12. This is a procedure we sometimes use to slow down a bill with objections. If the Senate does not get to the “contested” calander (schedule) S. 12 would require a “special order” slot. Special order needs 26 votes and there are only 3 special order spots.
If you’re not interested in all this procedural stuff, we’re trying to slow down or maybe derail trac.