Tag: County Transportation Committees

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

SC General Assembly Ongoing Road Problems

The effort to find funding to fix the state’s roads will be the elephant in the room when the SC General Assembly convenes in January 2016.

With several road bills already in the legislative process, how to mix a possible gas tax increase with other proposals in an election year will cause big problems for legislators.

An astute political observer I have known for a long time predicts no road maintenance bill will be passed next year because of the elections.

South Carolina State Senator Tom Davis

Sen. Tom Davis and SC Roads

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.

S.C. House Intent on Road Transfer to Counties

It appears the S.C. House is fully intent on dumping approximately 50% of the current state road network onto the backs of the counties.

Reading into H.3579, the bill that has the most support among S.C. House members, the intent becomes quite apparent.

While it has been said repeatedly in the media that counties would have the option to accept the roads from the state, this isn’t quite true.

Road Funding Plans Due in S.C. General Assembly Today

Competing road funding plans are expected to be introduced in the S.C. General Assembly today.

The plans, authored by a S.C. House ad hoc committee and by Gov. Nikki Haley, respectively, each attempt to address fixes for South Carolina’s crumbling road infrastructure.

The main difference in the plans is funding mechanisms. Haley’s plan calls for a 10 cent rise in the state gas tax spread over three years, while calling for a 2 percent reduction in state income tax over 10 years.