Tag: H.3579

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.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

SC General Assembly Compromise Roads Bill

The SC General Assembly turned its attention back to passing a road funding bill this year, but the devil is in the details.

The bill, which began as H. 3579, was set for special order yesterday after a compromise was reached in the SC Senate to move it to priority status for debate.

Much changed since its original version, the bill contains the three elements Gov. Nikki Haley said was needed to avoid a veto – sort of.

The current plan raises the state gas tax by 12 cents per gallon and allows it to be adjusted for inflation in future years. Increases in license and registration fees and raising the sales tax cap on car sales are also included bringing the estimated rise in revenue to approximately $800 million per year.

The bill proposes a decrease of 1% in the state income tax spread over five years. However, the reduction in tax rates would be suspended in any year the projected growth in state revenue is less than 4%.

If the rate is lowered over five years, the estimated tax cut is $700 million.

From 2003-2013, South Carolina’s annual average growth rate was less than 2%, making the possibility of income tax reductions less than certain.

Finally, the bill makes some changes in how the SC Department of Transportation commission is appointed.

While the bill would probably allow for some improvement in funding road maintenance and repairs, it now appears to be more political nonsense than a real effort at fixing the state’s roads.

SC House Amends Roads Bill

SC House members amended their road maintenance bill last week to allow county councils the choice of whether to take over maintenance of current state roads.

Instead of County Transportation Committees as first included in the bill (H 3579), it will now be county councils that have the choice whether to accept maintenance responsibility for roads within the county now in the state system.

It would be nice to see County Transportation Committees disbanded with gas tax rebates (C Funds) from the state to the counties directly disbursed to county governments.

S.C. Senate Committee Hearing on Roads

The S.C. Senate Finance Committee will hold a meeting March 24th on a roads bill sponsored by committee member Sen. Ray Cleary.

The bill, S.523, proposes increase a number of taxes and fees to pay for the road maintenance while also proposing to force counties to take control of approximately 50 percent of the roads currently maintained by SCDOT.

As with a bill currently making its way through the S.C. House, Cleary’s bill proposes to disband current County Transportation Committees and re-establish them with a new procedure for appointing members.

S.C. General Assembly Continues Funding Attacks

The S.C. General Assembly continues to move forward with impunity on bills that will cause funding problems for local governments around the state.

H.3374, which deals with the local government fund, has already passed the House and lies in the Senate Finance Committee awaiting action.

The local government fund, now proposed to be renamed the Local Government Revenue Sharing Fund, ostensibly returns a portion of state revenue to counties to help pay for state mandated offices. These include courts, solicitors, magistrates, public defenders, election commission, DSS, county health departments and the like.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

S.C. General Assembly Continues Assault on Local Governments

This legislative session could go down in history as the one during which the S.C. General Assembly broke the banks of local governments.

The S.C. House passed H.3374 last week, permanently cutting the local government fund and removing any formula for its calculation in the future.

The LGF, or Local Government Revenue Sharing Fund as it will be called in the future, will be funded over the next two years at the same level it is funded in the current fiscal year budget, or approximately 30% below the level of funding required by state statute.

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.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

S.C. General Assembly War on Local Government

The S.C. General Assembly appears to be waging war on local governments based on some of the proposed bills gaining traction in this session.

For an assemblage whose members cry like babies when they perceive the federal government interfering with South Carolina’s own particular definition of state’s rights, the S.C. General Assembly has no compunction when doing exactly the same thing or worse to its local governments.

Hypocrisy thy name is South Carolina legislators.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

Two Road Funding Plans Introduced in S.C. House

As expected, two road funding plans were introduced in the S.C. House yesterday.

Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York) and Chairman of the House Ad Hoc Transportation Committee introduced H.3579, a bill crafted around the recommendations of the study committee.

Rep. Tommy Stringer (R-Greenville) introduced H.3580, a bill that mirrors the gas tax/income tax plan outlined by Gov. Nikki Haley in her State of the State address last month.