Why the Gas Tax Is a Tax – Not a “Fee”

THE DISTINCTION IS VITAL, AND STATE LAWMAKERS ARE WRONG TO IGNORE IT A common mentality inside the South Carolina General Assembly holds that all private goods and services belong to government. We’re calling this a mentality, not a doctrine or an explicit belief, because lawmakers rarely if ever state it explicitly. But the mentality is …

ANALYSIS: Senate Compromise on Road Funding

A COMPROMISE? SURE. A COMPILATION OF ALL THIS YEAR’S BAD IDEAS? THAT TOO. Last week, a majority of Senate Republicans produced a compromise on the subject of road funding. At this point, the legislation itself isn’t available to the public; we only have a press release. But if that release accurately reveals the plan’s details, the …

Bill Would Impose Sales Tax on Web Purchases

LATEST ATTEMPT TO GET STATE HANDS ON NEW REVENUE MAY ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS OF LEGALITY, CONSTITUTIONALITY South Carolina’s sales tax is unfair in its imposition and isn’t producing enough revenue. At least that appears to be the opinion of many senators. Several who take that view introduced a measure they no doubt believe will help to …

Fixing Our Roads: Real Answers, in Plain English

THROWING MORE AND MORE MONEY AT A BROKEN SYSTEM IS HOW WE WOUND UP WITH A DECREPIT ROAD SYSTEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE WAY FORWARD IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Over three years ago, our policy analysts began warning that, thanks to South Carolina’s convoluted government structure, road maintenance was being neglected throughout most of the …

Senate to Scrap Constitution, Raise Revenue

WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING YOUR MONEY, STATE SENATORS WON’T LET A LITTLE OL’ CONSTITUTION GET IN THE WAY When a special Senate subcommittee met on Tuesday, the purpose was clear: raising revenue by increasing the gas tax and other fees. There’s just one problem – the constitution says they can’t. In fact, Article 3 Section 15 of the …