Best & Worst of the General Assembly


The 2012 edition of The Best and Worst of the General Assembly, our annual guide to the legislature’s accomplishments and misadventures, is here. In it, we highlight the year’s most important legislation and give each bill a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” We base our judgments on a single criterion – whether or not the bill advanced freedom – and we explain our reasons in plain English.

In this year’s electronic version, we’ve added an important new feature. For any bill that received a roll-call vote, we’ve included a link to the final vote tally, allowing you to find where your lawmaker came down on any roll-call vote.

Download the 2012 Best and Worst here. As always, there’s no charge, but if you’d like to help us keep monitoring what politicians do with your tax dollars, click here.


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One Comment on “Best & Worst of the General Assembly”

  1. Faux Income Tax Relief
    H. 4997
    South Carolinians who make $14,000 or more are currently taxed at the state’s highest income tax rate: seven percent. This bill would have collapsed the state’s middle income tax brackets – four, five, and six percent – and created one rate of 3.75 percent, while maintaining the zero and seven percent bracket. The bill would have done nothing to address the high tax rate paid by most South Carolinians – making it little more than a rhetorical gesture in the name of “tax relief.”

    I agree with your assessment of of this facade called “tax reform,” in general, by our General Assembly in 2012. I’m sad to note, however, that you’d not even mentioned one bill that, in many peoples’ opinions, represents a genuine tax overhaul plan that would truly FREE S.C. businesses and individuals from the onerous taxation of our productivity and the negative affect that it has on our state’s growth and prosperity. The S.C. Fair Tax Act, H. 3993, would repeal ALL corporate and personal income taxes, sales and use taxes, and six other statutes (including the S.C. Motion Picture Incentive Act) that have been used by legislators to pick “winners and losers” with tax legislation. It would, in particular, release small businesses (who employ about 70% of our state’s workforce) to grow their businesses and create the jobs we so desperately need. Workers would have (7%) more money in their pay checks to spend, save or invest.

    Two economists calculated the consumption tax rate to replace income tax revenue between 5.8% and 6.1% with the tax exemptions gone and taxes applied to services – broadening the tax base. The bill sets the base tax rate at 6% – the SAME that it is today! With income taxes gone, businesses can adjust their consumer prices based on competitive free market forces – not government manipulation.

    As written, the rate can be lowered any time with a simple majority vote by each house, but can ONLY be raised during the first 3 calendar years with a two-thirds majority vote in both houses. Starting year four, the law cannot be amended without the proposed changes being approved verbatim by a majority of the voters in a statewide referendum in a general election in which House of Representatives are elected.

    Sounds like a great idea to me!

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