By Paul Gable
Sen. Tom Davis, filibustering the Capital Reserve Fund bill (H 3702), talked much about roads this week.
Second reading of H 3579 is waiting on the SC Senate calendar behind two other contested bills, but a Davis filibuster this week of the reserve fund bill may give some indications of things to come for roads.
It appears one goal of the Davis filibuster is to defeat an increase in the state gas tax.
Davis criticized past decisions by SCDOT and the State Infrastructure Bank. But, including CTC’s in any decision making on road maintenance doesn’t work. While county governments would be tasked with maintaining their own current road network plus any additional roads dumped by the state, the CTC works independently from county government in 36 of the state’s 46 counties.
Davis’ solution is to dump state roads on counties, give a little more money to an independent committee within those counties and have the state essentially wash its hands of responsibility for approximately 50% of the roads it has not maintained throughout the years.
All in the name of not raising taxes.
This demonstrates the problem of electing people to public office who have no clue how to govern. An ideology of not raising taxes while passing fiscal problems down the line to the next lower government entity doesn’t work.
If the counties follow the same logic, they will remove roads currently in the county’s road network and return responsibility for maintaining them to adjacent property owners.
The end result is no taxes are raised but roads continue to deteriorate until adjacent property owners possibly get together to collectively fund repairs from their own pockets.
Who will be allowed to use those roads? They certainly will not be public anymore.
Davis’ solution could lead to his ideological goal of no tax increase and smaller government.
But, must we all go back to riding horses to get there?