Powerful “Republican” Backs Gas Tax Hike

HUGH LEATHERMAN WANTS NEW “USER FEE” FOR ROAD FUNDING S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman (RINO-S.C.) – whose construction company profits from state highway funding – says he wants to raise South Carolina’s gas tax to fund “infrastructure enhancements.” Wait … the $500 million lawmakers borrowed last year didn’t cut it? “I’m…


S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman (RINO-S.C.) – whose construction company profits from state highway funding – says he wants to raise South Carolina’s gas tax to fund “infrastructure enhancements.”

Wait … the $500 million lawmakers borrowed last year didn’t cut it?

“I’m telling you at this point I will be for a gas tax increase, or user fee, that’s what I call it,” Leatherman told a group of crony capitalists and fellow fiscal liberals in Florence, S.C. this week. “If we don’t do it, the highways will continue to crumble.”

Ah yes … the whole fee versus tax thing.

Potato, potato.

Oh and as for money to fix the state’s “crumbling highways,” why not stop blowing money on totally unnecessary new projects first?

Right … that would make too much sense.

Leatherman claims South Carolina can afford to raise the gas tax because it’s the third-lowest gas tax in the country. What Leatherman neglects to point out is that Palmetto State incomes are among the lowest in the nation, meaning South Carolinians pay a higher percentage of what they earn on fuel than residents of any other state … save Mississippi.

So yeah … that gas tax (err, fee) would hit people squarely where it hurts.

Anyway, if you’re interested in learning more about “infrastructure funding” in South Carolina, click here.

The key takeaway? According to data compiled by the Reason Foundation, South Carolina ranked No. 2 in the nation in total taxpayer disbursements per mile in 2007 (which is insane considering the state maintains the fourth-largest road network in America). In 2008 and 2009 – the latest years for which data is available – the Palmetto State led the nation in tax money spent per mile of state-maintained roads.

What about bridges? Glad you asked … from 2007-09 South Carolina led the nation in taxpayer disbursements per mile of bridges.

But hey … let’s just keep pumping more money into the same failed system, right? Maybe a billion more and a few potholes might start getting filled for a change …

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idcydm January 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Republican Democrat, same same, gimme gimme gimme.

Pols Make The Best Sociopaths January 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm


Pitchforks Ready January 28, 2014 at 5:32 pm

People are coming together all across the state to destroy him and Harrell. Their days are numbered. Both will end up in prison. Count on it!

My Pitchfork Bigger than Yours January 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Leatherman is almost 84 years old. He doesn’t even buy ripe bananas anymore. He’s more likely to see the grim reaper rather than a jail cell.

If I were a betting man I’d bet you might see prison before he does.

Ha Ha January 28, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Good One!Hahaha

CorruptionInColumbia January 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Why do these scum always seem to last forever? Is there something about stealing from others in a semi-legal manner that contributes to longevity?

No Obamacare for them January 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm

They get better healthcare and work less hours, courtesy of the taxpaying chumps.

That probably gives them a good 10 years on Joe Sixpack.

vicupstate January 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm

I’ll believe in the tooth fairy before I believe that. If they are even technically guilty of anything, they have all the dirt they need on anyone necessary to stay free.
Unless you are as dumb as Ken Ard and Robert Ford, you ain’t serving time for corruption in this state

Edgar January 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Not when Jean Toal is your bff. She is there to protect these two losers. Get rid of Toal. Hold your house member and your state senator accountable. Ask NOW, why they intend to vote for Toal. You will hear more mealy mouth crap than you can ever imagine. The smart, honest legislators who really want to restore some dignity and integrity to the judiciary are voting for Pleicones.

Republican for Sheheen January 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Leatherman loves roads. He is in the concrete and realestate business.
The only problem, it leaves Peeler in too high of a position of power. With his brother in the trash business, the State will be a dumping ground for the rest of Country. Harvey Peeler and brother former Lt Governor, Bob Peeler are trashing the State pretty well now.
They are also trashing a number of marriages with their uncontrollable penchant to chase every skirt around!
Another lesser of the evils situation from our Grand Old Party!
I resigned my membership until all of the Eckstroms, Harrells, Sanfords, Peelers, Martins, Wilsons, Haleys etc. are history!
I was once an active participant and contributor, NO LONGER!

Elfego January 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Queen Jean will overturn any convictions!

eyeseeu January 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Another A’HOLE looking out for his interest and not the hard working people of South Carolina. Throw this Bum out. Raise our Gas Tax so his company can get millions in
contracts for his business. Its time to clean house on all these crooks in Columbia.

Sims January 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Leatherman is knocking Harrell out of the way so he can control the hundreds of millions of dollars associated with highway 526. That money that goes up for grabs when Harrell is weak. Add the gas tax money (through bonding) and he will send more than a billion dollars to his homies over the next year. Great way to go out.

Itt January 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Just another old troll from Florence where some of the best crooks, on the planet seem to live.

euwe max January 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I say let’s go back to horses, buggies, chat roads, outhouses, and chores.

It’s time for South Carolina to admit, finally, that technology just isn’t working. It was an expensive and reckless experiment, but the old ways… they’re the best ways.

Deo Vindice SC January 28, 2014 at 6:29 pm

The ” air we breath tax ” is on the menu, along with ” a farting tax, in pubilic places ” ” Stink feet in public places ” is on the menu also. But you can deduct a Haley shit on your head. That is more than fair, I say !

BeaufortTiger January 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Gas prices week-to-week can fluctuate by ten cents or more. A ten cent increase in the gas tax (or even just a four cent tax increase as proposed by the State House) would hardly be noticed by the consumers, but would definitely be felt by SCDOT. Remember, this is a tax that has not been raised NOR adjusted for inflation since 1987, so SCDOT has half the available output for construction and maintenance than it did 25 years ago; all to maintain the nation’s fourth largest road network.

Keep in mind too that 34% of folks who fill up in this state do not live in this state. Since they are using our roads to get through the state, I see no reason why they too shouldn’t pay their fair share in contributing to the upkeep of our highways.

At the very least, if the state refuses to raise the gas tax, then let it at least enable counties and municipalities the ability to place a local-option fuel tax so that they can gradually take-over responsibility of local roads and have the ability to maintain them.

So long as SCDOT uses increased gas tax money for maintenance and expansion of existing roads, I will continue to bang away at the drum for a more reality-based level of road funding through fuel tax, in addition to a proper property tax on vehicles based on weight and not based on vehicle price.

CuriousGeorge January 28, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Sorry, but I’m not from around here. Why does a state the size of SC have the nation’s fourth largest road network?

nitrat January 29, 2014 at 9:04 am

Farm to market.
Once, ONCE, SC realized what it needed to do for business/farms to make money…ONCE, before the GOP and ALEC took control of the legislature.

Hello dere Georgo January 29, 2014 at 9:05 am

“FITS and its readers dont take to kindly to actually informed opinions.”

Just figured it’s be easier to use the above comment.

Also, don’t bring up the fact that the cockroaches are using road money for other things and that it might be wise to first make sure it all goes to roads before handing them any more.

easy there tiger January 29, 2014 at 12:45 am

FITS and its readers dont take to kindly to actually informed opinions. You may just want to slow your roll with all this facts and logic stuff before they show up at your house with pitchforks and torches.

Smirks January 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

You raise some good points, although I’d state a few things.

1) Gas can fluctuate by ten cents a gallon, you’re absolutely right, but to say people wouldn’t notice? That ten cents wouldn’t be a fluctuation, it would be a permanent raise in the gas tax on top of the fluctuations we currently experience. I’m sure people who scrounge for change to buy gas in hard times would notice. Trust me, I have been in that position before.

2) Whether or not the public would notice is irrelevant anyways. Government should not tax beyond what it needs to complete the job efficiently and timely. Whenever government requires more money, it should be forced to look through everything it can and cut as much costs as possible before suggesting an increase. In fact, the government should present clear evidence that it has done so to its citizens to justify asking for a tax hike.

3) Not so much a criticism as it is a concern, but wouldn’t a weight-based property tax on cars not affect a large number of trucks that roll through our state, as they are registered in different states? Fuel tax is more effective for heavier vehicles since they generally have piss poor gas mileage and it would tax anyone who purchases fuel in this state (which is cheaper than the surrounding states, so it isn’t like out-of-staters would avoid buying gas here).

As Will states, I agree that the government should discard unnecessary projects and focus on doing its job on the roads we already have. IF they do this and slim down where they can, but still need more money? THEN let’s talk about a nominal tax increase. Let them prove they need it before we even discuss it. I’d absolutely support it if they held up their end like that.

JJEvans January 30, 2014 at 11:06 am

Well said.

Observant January 28, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I agree with Leatherpecker, even if I wish that they would exclude him from the paving contracts (no more creek gravel, please, sir – only crushed granite). We are far past the time where a major REPAVING (note that I did not say “new roads”) effort must be made in the state, no matter what the Fed percentage kick-in. NICE when it’s 10% State, 90% Fed (Interstate), but 50-50 isn’t that bad.

Deo Vindice SC January 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Comming from Haley supporters, please! You are dumb ass people!

More money to waste January 28, 2014 at 7:36 pm

I suppose it’s too much to ask they first only use dollars allocated for road, on roads?

Yeah, let’s see some more sycophants for the state cheer lead for endless piles of money taking from the working man to support the road slush fund(s).

Deo Vindice SC January 28, 2014 at 7:40 pm

DumbMF frome SC, ah a republicon hero! UH RA

Elfego January 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Hugh has been a Democrat all along he switched to the Republican Party to get elected.

Guest January 28, 2014 at 9:03 pm

LOL, well that certainly distinguishes him from most of the General Assembly…..not!

Thomas January 28, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Tax hike on gasoline? For road and infrastructure modernizing? Bull shit. Any gas tax hike will go to the general fund then used to float the state retirement pension boondoggle. When they say employees must pay more into the state retirement system and the state (employer) must pay more into the state retirement system, that means taxpayers must pay more taxes for the state retirement system…and a gas hike is the only way to raise some quick tax revenue bucks.

Slide-rule January 28, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Yesterday North Charleston Mayor Keith “Porky” Summey (420 pounds) demanded that the State Infrastructure Bank Board write a check for (guess what) exactly $500 million to fund I-526 on- and -off ramps to the Boeing factory in his town.

And that the the IBB “get” that $500 million by raising the gas tax, statewide.

This so that Boeing can get quicker deliveries of paint, electrical wires, aluminum, and other stuff planes are made out of. And so “it can look attractive” — palm trees, lush roadside gardens, water fountains, special night lighting, etc.

Idea: Boeing pays for its own on- and -off ramps with some of that $750 million in tax incentives we’ve thrown at its feet.

Screw “door ears” Leatherman.

Bones January 29, 2014 at 9:39 am

I heard that none of the 6500 Boeing employees will be allowed on these ramps, just paint, wire, and landscape trucks!

davis mcclam January 28, 2014 at 11:36 pm

To quote a very old southern expression, “Leatherman needs to go somewhere and sit down”

dm10ae January 29, 2014 at 3:03 am

South Carolina had a 3 cent gas called SHIMS that had $100 million in it was placed in the general fund to spend on other projects. SHIMS means state highway improvement and maintenance system. These legislators use funds to farther their special projects rather than what they are banked for. Several years ago legislators used $25 million of healthcare accumulated funds to use in the general fund, and later raised the healthcare premium and lowered coverage. Also Leather sends a lot of business to a firm that handles the retirement system-costing the state 3 or 4 times more than what same size systems pay.

nitrat January 29, 2014 at 9:00 am

Maybe, the dimwitted SC legislators who have signed pledges to Grover Norquist for the last 30 years can get his permission to raise gas taxes since roads as about as pure a ‘core function’ of government as you can get.
Where are the big and small businessmen who smart enough to understand that they need good roads to make money? Or, have all businessmen really gotten so stupid, they don’t realize that?

elliott January 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm

The businessman that sees the value in good roads exist. But he also knows that there is no amount of money big spending liberals cant waste.

Smirks January 29, 2014 at 9:13 am

Can we tax the hot air in his head? That should keep SCDoT funded for quite some time.

GrandTango January 29, 2014 at 10:31 am

True “Man Bites Dog” instance here. A “Republican” wants a tax hike….

FITS’ problem, is that all his little liberal Greedy Groupies, and ‘Tax and Waste’ Sheheen AGREE w/ this alleged Republican on the raising of taxes.

Read the comments. Democrats want to take your money through any tax or fee that feeds their Greed…

Libtard January 29, 2014 at 10:33 am

Cannot wait for the day the “Little Digger” is retired.

ThreePalms January 29, 2014 at 10:58 am

Leatherman is right that the fuel tax in SC needs to be increased. Our roads and bridges must be maintained and improved as they are necessary for both business and society. Some of you have pointed out that a portion of the current fuel tax is wrongly syphoned off by the General Assembly. Mr. Leatherman’s law should make certain that ALL fuel tax revenues collected in SC go to the SC DOT.

ThreePalms January 29, 2014 at 10:58 am

I enjoyed reading the posts claiming, accurately, that a fuel tax hits lower income people harder than those with higher incomes. Surely these are not the same posters advocating that income taxes must be paid by everyone or that there should be one flat tax rate.

GrandTango January 29, 2014 at 11:08 am

Like Obama say: ‘Got to have skin in the game’ right?…

Why do liberals so vehemently oppose ‘participation’ when it comes to paying taxes????…You say taxes are an “Investment”…why not allow the less-resourceful democrat voters the opportunity to “invest?” ….

When you just TAKE all the time, it’s an unequal, unfair equation…and we’re finding out w/ Obamacare, even Obama voters get P!$$#d off when you keep expecting the hardworking to CONTRIBUTE so the non-willing and lackadaisical can withdraw those deposits…

Sooner or later, you run out of Obama is finding out…

Deo Vindice SC January 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I need more money!!! Blah, Blah, Blah.

Squishy123 January 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

You know, there are states out there in a whole lot better situation where the legislature only meets for 3 months every other year. In this state they could meet year-round and all we’d see is 11 months of back slapping and one month of panic.

bob January 29, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Hey! How about repainting the lines. Especially in busy intersections.

M326 January 30, 2014 at 8:03 am

I agree with Leatherman. However, I would like to see all additional money added to that which is ear-marked for repair and maintenance only. We don’t need any more “new” roads.

Philip Branton January 30, 2014 at 11:42 am

Dear Hugh Leatherman, do you care to wager if Nancy Mace understands how many citizens in South Sudan and CAR and Syria and Iraq and Kenya have DIED for you to use foreign OIL to raise taxes on. Hugh, do you think that the Captain of SPAWAR Atlantic is that stupid to not consider how much tax revenue from WIND or Solar or TRASH is not being harnessed by your boot lickin’ to BIG OIL…?

Hugh, just how priceless is our troops BLOOD to you anyway..?

Hugh, have you taken time to read any info concerning construction contractor bribing in SOUTH SUDAN or SYRIA or Iraq or Afghanistan or I-526…?

Hugh, care to take a wager how many SPAWAR Atlantic personnel understands contract oversight and the awareness “factor” of an IG inspector less than a 2 minute walk from their cube.


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