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GOVERNOR CRITICIZED FOR APPROVING $1.7 BILLION SALES TAX OPTION

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley was blasted by limited government advocates this week over her decision to sign legislation permitting more than a dozen South Carolina counties to raise taxes by $1.7 billion.

Fiscal conservatives in the S.C. Senate attempted to block the tax hike bill, but were unsuccessful in doing so … leaving it up to Haley to veto the measure.

She didn’t … despite her office receiving a flood of phone calls from opponents of the legislation.

“Haley heard you loud and clear,” Palmetto Liberty leader Talbert Black wrote in an email to his supporters. “She simply ignored you. I can’t say I’m surprised. You and I have seen the signs before. In fact, the pattern is pretty predictable. When a politician refuses to publicly declare their position on legislation it is because they hope to be able to quietly oppose the will of the people.”

According to Black, the governor “decided that enabling a new tax was more important than listening to the will of the people.”

“Remember, when you are fighting your county to stop this new local option sales tax, that Haley could have stopped it,” he added. “Instead she signed it.”

That’s right …

Ashley Landess of the S.C. Policy Council – a libertarian-leaning, limited government think tank – also flatly disputed Haley’s contention that she was vetoing the bill because it interfered with local autonomy.

“If the governor and the legislature really believe citizens should make decisions at the local level without interference from Columbia, then give them the full authority to do so,” Landess told FITS. “But Columbia politicians have no intention of giving up power over the counties or anything else. Legislative delegations control everything from county election commissions to school board appointments – and they aren’t about to give up that power. It’s absurd for the governor and legislators to claim to want citizens to have control of their own government at any level – they don’t, and they fight us over it every year.”

That’s true … which is one reason we supported calls for Haley to veto this bill.

If elected officials can prevent government from robbing people of their hard-earned money, they should do so.  Otherwise, all that “limited government” talk is just that … talk.