Reading the Mark Lazarus campaign mailers immediately brought to my mind Ronald Reagan telling Jimmy Carter “There you go again” during the 1980 presidential campaign.
The phrase has become part of the political lexicon to mean a candidate has entered the realm of hyperbole in his or her campaign statements.
The Lazarus campaign claiming $1 billion in infrastructure improvements in the county is certainly hyperbole, at least.
Most of that money comes from Ride projects and the new airport terminal.
County council has very little say in Ride projects. The process begins with an advisory committee which establishes a list of needed projects. That list goes to a sales tax advisory commission who establishes a final list that goes to county council.
Council may vote the list up or down, but it can’t make any changes to what the commission proposed. If council approves the list, it then goes to the voters in a binding referendum question asking whether an additional one percent sales tax should be levied on purchases in the county to pay for Ride projects.
The citizens are asked to approve additional taxes on themselves because a succession of councils and our state legislative delegation have allowed development to far outpace infrastructure improvements in the county.
If I have this correct, the citizens vote to levy extra taxes on themselves so Lazarus can claim he is responsible for infrastructure improvements.
Eddie Dyer, who served as chairman of both the advisory committee and sales tax commission, made the following statement about road conditions in Horry County when presenting council with $592 million in projects for Ride III: