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 the Infrastructure Bank Should Go

IT SERVES ITS PURPOSES, ALL RIGHT . . . AND THEY’RE ALL BAD As lawmakers and the governor seek to add more revenue to, and possibly reform, South Carolina’s broken transportation system, there is one glaringly obvious issue hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves: eliminating the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB). There is no entity […]

Sketchy Numbers Behind Road Funding Debate

‘STATE HOUSE ECONOMICS’ AT ITS FINEST The state’s roads are crumbling, according to the popular refrain, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) claims it faces a nearly $43 billion shortfall between the current year and 2040. This works out to just under a $1.5 billion annual shortfall. To address this problem, Gov. Nikki Haley has proposed […]

South Carolina’s Roads Problem Isn’t about Revenue

IT’S ABOUT STRUCTURE, NOT MONEY – ACCOUNTABILITY, NOT TAXES Every South Carolinian who drives a car knows our state’s roads need work. Many have also heard about the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) alleged funding shortfall between now and 2040. What you may not know, however, is that both these problems can be traced to the same […]

On Roads, S.C. House Doing Its Own Thing

THE HOUSE PLAN HAS THIS IN COMMON WITH THE GOVERNOR’S: IT ASSUMES WE HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM. Nearly a week after the governor released her plan to fix South Carolina roads, the House Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York), unveiled its own proposal. In some small ways the plan is superior to […]

Haley Road Plan: Higher Taxes, New Debt, Fuzzy Numbers

THE GOVERNOR’S PLAN IS A SHELL GAME THAT WOULD DO LITTLE TO IMPROVE S.C.’S ROADS Gov. Nikki Haley’s plan to fix South Carolina’s decrepit roads and bridges and lower income taxes will ultimately do neither. The governor proposes to raise the gas tax 10 cents over three years, cut the income tax by 2 percent over ten […]

Gov. Haley’s Budget: Same Deal, More Money

THE GOVERNOR DOUBLES DOWN, PHONES IT IN Update* Budget documents prepared by the Executive Budget Office not available at the time of initial publication reveal an even larger executive budget. The full executive budget comes in at $26 billion, an $890 million increase in total appropriations over last year’s budget. Gov. Nikki Haley has released her […]

Good & Bad Ideas on Roads

WHAT YOUR POLICYMAKERS ARE HEARING & SAYING Two recent meetings – the House Ad Hoc Transportation Review Committee, and a York Town Hall addressed by Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York) – have given us a glimpse of what lawmakers are planning for 2015 on the subject of road construction and maintenance. At both of these meetings, […]

Roads: Is Raising Taxes Really the Only Option?

LAWMAKERS SEEM TO THINK SO. A LITTLE EFFORT MIGHT BE IN ORDER. Tax hikes are on the mind of legislators. At least that’s what the October 30 meeting of the Ad Hoc Transportation Committee would lead any observer to believe. The first half of the committee meeting was taken up by presentations from representatives of […]

Why Raising the Fuel Tax Is a Terrible Idea

MONEY’S NOT THE PROBLEM. PRIORITIES ARE. The issue of road funding – or, to put it slightly differently, the question of how South Carolina should fix its broken road system – is now a constant topic in politics and the media. A fair number of state lawmakers have therefore begun to advocate what politicians always advocate […]