“Comprehensive tax reform headed to full Senate,” proclaimed the S.C. Senate Republican Caucus yesterday, the latest disingenuous fluffing of perhaps the single most dangerous bill being considered by lawmakers this legislative session.
In fact, when we typed “Sen. Leatherman’s Tax Realignment Commission” into our handy dandy bureaucratic translator, it didn’t say something pithy like it usually does, it just cursed and spit in anger.
And when inanimate imaginary objects react like that, you know something’s bad!
Calling Sen. Leatherman’s plan, known as TRAC, “comprehensive tax reform” is a joke.
He’s basically going to spend your money to pay a bunch of special interest insiders to come to Columbia and conduct yet another study of our tax code, except the commission would be prohibited from even discussing the billions of dollars in fee revenue collected and spent each year in South Carolina.
It would also be prohibited from considering the biggest elephant in the room – our state’s misguided property tax-sales tax swap from two years ago.
State Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) told The Free Times as much in an article published last week.
From the story:
Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, says the TRAC bill falls short of taking a comprehensive look at the way South Carolina taxes and spends. “A meaningful look at the way our state raises revenue is incomplete unless it is done so in connection with a simultaneous look at how much it should spend,” he says.
Davis also contends that any comprehensive tax reform debate must include Act 388, the 2006 sales tax for property tax swap, and TRAC doesn’t allow for that to be considered, either. “In my opinion, there have been some very serious unintended consequences from Act 388,” he says.
Yeah … like public schools gaming the system to the detriment of families and businesses all across the state, just so they can build up hundreds of millions in budget surpluses.
Anyway, TRAC will now be debated before the full State Senate, where we hope some of those new conservative members (and others) will join Davis in growing a set.