It is unfortunate that excess revenues were spent instead of returned to taxpayers, however; we are encouraged to see a plan allowing counties to buy roads from the state. Nationally, South Carolina ranks number five for miles of state owned roads but is one of the smaller states (40th). One step for improving roads in South Carolina is not by raising taxes, but taking roads that the state owns and put the counties in charge.
We were sad to see two efforts to remove a full time security detail for a part time public official fail. Some previous Lt. Governors have realized that a full time security detail is a waste of taxpayer money and we agree. It was also disappointing to see a proposal to prevent local government from charging a fee for paying your taxes with a credit or debit card. This “tax on a tax” isn’t something we agree with and the Senate should put this back in the budget.
On the Senate side a weak ethics reform bill, which was largely debated behind closed doors, was passed back over to the House. The Senate’s version still allows self-policing for legislators. We hope that the House will fix this and strengthen this much-needed reform.
As the Senate starts the budget process we encourage members to keep all pet projects, pork and earmarks out of the budget and return any excess revenues to the taxpayer. Despite what many politicians think, tax dollars are not manna from heaven but money taken straight from the pockets of hard working South Carolinians.