Liberal legacy media authors have been making the case lately that South Carolina’s tax burden is one of the lowest in the nation.
“South Carolina’s tax collections are the lowest in the nation, at $1,476.50 per capita,” writes leftist editorial writer Cindi Ross Scoppe of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper, a consistent champion for higher taxes and government spending increases.
Scoppe also notes these collections “dropped 18 percent from 2001 to 2011 — more than they did in 48 states.”
Sure … on the surface.
This argument is very similar to the one made about South Carolina’s gas tax – which “Republicans” in the S.C. General Assembly are hoping to raise by thirty percent (and then raise incrementally in future years).
Here’s the thing, though … while it is true South Carolina has one of the lowest gas taxes in America, our citizens pay more in fuel costs than residents of any other state in the country (save Mississippi). How is that possible? Because we’re dirt poor, people … and getting poorer.
Here’s the reality … South Carolina’s seven percent top marginal income tax rate (which affects individuals and small businesses) is the 13th highest in America. Worse still, it kicks in at the artificially low level of $14,000 – making it regressive and anti-competitive. Meanwhile South Carolina’s sales tax (which doesn’t apply to Scoppe and her buddies in the liberal media) is the 16th highest rate in the country.
Now we’re comparing apples to apples, people …
Bottom line? There’s a reason our tax burden is so low: Our people are broke as jokes. In fact according to the latest data from the U.S. Census, South Carolina has the fifth lowest median household income level in America, at a paltry $42,065.
Yeah … how’s that “low tax burden” looking now?
We understand big government’s desire to spend every dime of new money that comes into the state’s coffers – just as we understand the liberal mainstream media’s desire to hang onto its special tax-exempt status. But neglecting to tell people the whole truth about our state’s unfair, anti-competitive tax climate is the same as lying to them …