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NEARLY $40 MILLION ROUTED TO SECRETIVE CORPORATE WELFARE PROGRAM

Reporter Rick Brundrett of The Nerve has a great story up this week highlighting the explosive growth of one of South Carolina’s shady, secretive “economic development” slush funds.

And while this so-called “Governor’s Closing Fund” is small potatoes compared to the nine-figure tax breaks doled out to big corporations like Boeing, it’s still money coming out of the wallets of individual taxpayers and small businesses.

According to Brundrett’s story, lawmakers are expanding this fund in the coming fiscal year from $16 million to $37.3 million – which is more than twice the amount of money S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley requested in her budget.  If approved, the fund will have grown fivefold since its creation in 2006.

Oh, and here’s the best part …

Haley’s administration “provided no specifics on how the $37.3 million would be used.”

Of course not …

Two separate studies in the last three years (here and here) rank the Palmetto State among the very least transparent states in America with respect to disclosing details of “economic development” incentive packages. And that’s before we get to the matter of these incentives shifting (and raising) the tax burden on existing individuals and small businesses – who account for the vast majority of jobs yet receive no such preferential treatment.

Despite these concerns, Haley has made bribing companies to come to South Carolina her top priority – even though many of the promised jobs fail to match expectations (or even materialize).

We have consistently opposed spending tax dollars on corporate welfare bribes. It’s corrupt and unfair.

Oh … and it doesn’t work.