ANALYSIS: Imposing a Statewide Property Tax

SAME BAD ARGUMENT, DIFFERENT TAX It is a long held view among many elected officials that the only thing preventing exemplary achievements for students in state run schools is insufficient funding. If funding goes up without any apparent results, it simply means funding has not gone up enough. Recently, individuals of this mindset in South …

Why S.C. Lawmakers Can’t Pass a Budget on Time

EVERY YEAR, LAWMAKERS TRY TO PASS POTENTIALLY CONTROVERSIAL CHANGES THROUGH THE STATE BUDGET. BUT NOT EVERY PROBLEM IS A FUNDING PROBLEM. Legislators returned to Columbia July 6 for a third week of extended session. The purpose, in part: to vote on the governor’s budget vetoes and thereby finalize the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget. The …

State Budget Sets Records, Vetoes Make Zero Difference

THE STATE BUDGET IS A TRANSACTION BETWEEN TAXPAYERS AND GOVERNMENT. HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE BUYING. After being rushed through a secretive committee process, the fiscal year (FY) 2016 conference budget – which reconciles the budgets passed by the full House and Senate – was voted on and passed by both chambers before the public ever saw …

UPDATE: Surplus, Capital Reserve, Sine Die, Uber

SESSION IS OVER … ALMOST The third week in June ended on a tragic note in the General Assembly, and attention has rightly been away from legislative business. In the interests of keeping tabs on the legislature, however, here’s a summary of the main business at present. Supplemental appropriations bill  The House passed a supplemental appropriations …

Why the Surplus Won’t Solve Anything

STATE HOUSE ECONOMICS, CHAPTER III On Monday the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved a standalone bill to appropriate $415 million in surplus revenue. The proposal is separate from the state budget bill, which is ordinarily where lawmakers appropriate surplus revenue when it becomes available. The proposal would divvy up the $300 million over which …

UPDATE: State Budget on Senate Floor

LAWMAKERS’ PRIORITIES: MORE DEBT, HEEDLESS INCREASES TO STATE COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES This week the state Senate is debating the state budget produced by the Senate Finance Committee. This spending plan, unsurprisingly, is the largest budget produced this cycle, weighing in at $26.1 billion (that’s including a $1.5 billion appropriation for food stamps that was moved in …

S.C. Going the Wrong Way on Road Funding

FOR HOUSE LAWMAKERS, ROAD FUNDING IS ABOUT BUILDING NEW ROADS, ‘ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT’ – AND JUST ABOUT ANYTHING BUT FIXING THE STATE’S CRUMBLING ROADS AND BRIDGES.  Lawmakers are quick to bemoan the state of South Carolina’s roads and bridges, and virtually all have stated an intention to do something about it in 2015, but something terrible happens each time they’re …

Why S.C.’s Deeper in Debt Than They Say

THE HOUSE IS DEBATING A $497 BOND PACKAGE. IT’S TERRIBLE IDEA, FOR LOTS OF REASONS. NOW TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT LAWMAKERS WANT TO SPEND THE MONEY ON. This week the House will consider a nearly half-billion dollar Capital Improvement Bond bill. The proposal is being considered as Part III of the General Appropriations Act. The bond bill …