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So Long, Columbia

… SEE YA WOULDN’T WANNA BE YA By Will Folks || It’s called “voting with your feet,” and I’m about to do it. Within sixty days, I will no longer be a resident of Columbia, S.C. – or Richland County, S.C. Nor will any of my businesses. Where am I…

… SEE YA WOULDN’T WANNA BE YA

By Will Folks || It’s called “voting with your feet,” and I’m about to do it.

Within sixty days, I will no longer be a resident of Columbia, S.C. – or Richland County, S.C.

Nor will any of my businesses.

Where am I going? Not exactly sure yet … but I won’t be subjecting myself any longer to the high-tax thugocracy of these two local gangster governments. After more than two decades of living in downtown Columbia – I’m Audi 5000.

The path leading to this decision started for me in November, 2012 – when Richland County’s corrupt election commission stole $1.2 billion from county taxpayers in a rigged election (one which has yet to be properly investigated).

This week, the final straw came when City of Columbia’s council voted 4-3 to spend $30 million on a friggin’ baseball stadium (without a cost-benefit analysis, it’s worth noting). Taxpayers will shell out 76.3 percent of the up-front costs of this project – and will pay recurring costs for the facility’s operation. A developer who is heavily subsidized by city government will pay another 8 percent of the project’s cost – while the company ostensibly “building” the facility will pay only 15.8 percent of the tab.

I won’t be paying for a dime of it, though … I’m outta here.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m under no illusions that finding a tax-friendly location in a state as anti-competitive as South Carolina will be easy (to say nothing of a country that’s as increasingly anti-competitive as the United States). It won’t be easy. But with the exception of Myrtle Beach … I can’t think of a worse place in the Palmetto State to try and run a business (or raise a family) as far as taxes are concerned.

And while I know my little family (and family of businesses) is not some economic powerhouse capable of materially impacting the finances of either local government, I am a drop in the bucket … as well as a public acknowledgment that there are other locations where local governments make it much less expensive to live and work.

And businesses that move to those locations will be receiving … more business.

Make no mistake: FITS isn’t going anywhere. This website will remain in the Midlands region of the state – and will continue to bust the balls of corrupt leaders in both Columbia, S.C. and Richland County, doing our best to hold them accountable to the taxpayers and businesses that choose to remain under their jurisdiction.

I’m just not gonna get robbed and raped by these two particular governments any longer …

It’s been said – accurately, I might add – that the failure of the two-party system has rendered our voice at the ballot box largely irrelevant. I agree with that (especially in Richland County, where the politicians and bureaucrats just steal elections that appear to be going against them).

But we can continue to vote with our feet … as I’m doing.

I was born in Columbia, S.C. I have spent almost all of my adult life as one of its citizens. But it’s becoming clear that this city is not a business-friendly location, and so I’m making the decision to leave before it gets worse.

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86 comments

CNSYD March 5, 2014 at 8:56 am

You can move to the country where T-Rav went when renounced his US citizenship.

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Anonymous March 5, 2014 at 9:11 am Reply
Will Folks aka Sic March 5, 2014 at 11:14 am

Hahahahahahahaha …

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Hotter than the Sun March 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

Thats Sic!!!

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Bye March 5, 2014 at 9:18 am

Are you taking GrandTango and your other online personas with you?

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Gregory Geddings March 5, 2014 at 10:10 am

Hopefully he will drop them off at the looney bin…

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Photoshopping all day March 5, 2014 at 10:15 am

Is that what you did?

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Gregory Geddings March 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I only have one personality, douche-monkey. That’s why I use my real name when I post.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein March 6, 2014 at 7:31 am

GG does have his urban/rapstar persona nickname..”Z-TAC.”

Gregory Geddings March 6, 2014 at 8:22 am

Yes, TBG, I do…but please note that this was a moniker that Will threw my way (Zero Talent Ass Clown) and that I only used it for a short period of time. Also note that I made it known that this was me. I wasn’t hiding from anybody…just goin’ with the flow.

SCBlueWoman March 5, 2014 at 9:18 am

Why don’t you drop off the grid? Oh, yeah. You can’t.

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Squishy123 March 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

I hear they’re getting lonely for you over at ultra-left wing, Brad Warthen’s blog.

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Norma Scok March 5, 2014 at 9:20 am

Moving from America’s favorite tourist destination? Why would anyone ever do that?

I found the best part of Columbia was watching it get smaller in my rear view mirror. Kinda like Ohio, I’m not sure why anyone lives there.

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carls jr March 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Not used to electricity and indoor plumbing, are you, Tater?

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Norma Scok March 5, 2014 at 6:21 pm

The acrid combined smell of diesel fuel from the empty city buses, vagrant urine in the parking garages (and tripping over said bums while attempting to buy an overpriced lunch downtown) and the insanely hot and cold temps left me with the oh so pleasant taste of victory when I finally got the eff outta there.

I’m glad you’re enjoying that shathole though. Hopefully, you and your ilk will continue to be human targets in downtown Columbia while the cops vehemently deny they have a crime, drug and gang problem.

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carls jr March 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm

My bad. I meant to say High Five.

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Frank Pytel March 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

Good luck to you and yours Sic. It’ll be tough, but I’m sure you’ll find something where you get robbed a little less by the local Banksters & Politiks.

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Gregory Geddings March 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

On the way out maybe he will stop by your place and rub your hump for good luck!

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vicupstate March 5, 2014 at 9:30 am

Move in with T-Rav in his SOB house or his plantation.

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CNSYD March 5, 2014 at 9:40 am

T-Rav may need a field overseer, a la Jonas Wilkerson on GWTW,on his plantation.

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Buz Martin March 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Commonly known as a cracker.

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CorruptionInColumbia March 5, 2014 at 9:33 am

Will, I respect and appreciate what you are doing. I would say to come over to Lexington County, but we have the same dynamics in motion over here and the same kind of corrupt politicians on our County council (and its municipalities) who are chomping at the bit to get that (certain) penny tax here in November. Also, over here you have a lot of SCE&Greed electrical service areas and Carolina Water/Utilities Inc, which apparently also has Jean Toal in its pocket, too.

Kershaw County has lower property taxes so that may be a viable option for you. I would not recommend Lugoff or Elgin areas due to past and present polluting industries in those areas which may have poisoned the ground water.

Whatever you do or decide, I wish you the best of luck.

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Taxes can suffocate you March 5, 2014 at 10:08 am

At least his source of income is completely geographic dependent.

I’m a sitting duck with my business as it’s hard to move without going into the details of what it is. I have to get creative to avoid the squeeze, but it took me a while to figure out how and it was a very expensive education.

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Taxes can suffocate you March 5, 2014 at 10:16 am

not is, but “isn’t”

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SparkleCity March 7, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I thought there was no such a thing as pollution in South Carolina……………

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CorruptionInColumbia March 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Oh no, we have quite a bit of it, despite the way DHEC glosses over that fact the same way SLED looks the other way on cases of blatant official corruption.

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Buz Martin March 5, 2014 at 9:36 am

/// It won’t be easy. But with the exception of Myrtle Beach … I can’t think of a worse place in the Palmetto State to try and run a business (or raise a family) as far as taxes are concerned. ///

It would be great entertainment to have you in Myrtle Beach rage against the machine, Will, and if you were there I might be able to pencil you in sometime for coffee or sushi — or maybe O’Doul’s at The Masters — but man, you are DEAD ON about MB being even worse than Columbia for citizens being ripped off by the gubmint.

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disqus_4vreNOeESp March 5, 2014 at 10:19 am

You’ll be okay, they threw me out of Columbia a long long time ago, its a better world out there; your going to be fine friend. T

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inletman March 5, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Take a look at Murrells Inlet. He can still rage about Myrtle Beach but live peacefully in the Inlet. Good schools are an added feature.

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Buz Martin March 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm

/// He can still rage about Myrtle Beach but live peacefully in the Inlet ///

Works just fine for me.

And they ain’t kilt me yet. Though Tom Davis of Pawley’s Island and his running buddies have threatened it many a time.

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Buz Martin March 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I could walk for about a minute and spit across the line between Georgetown County and Horry. I don’t, but I sure could.

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just another guy March 5, 2014 at 9:36 am

I see Harrisburg, PA in Columbia’s future. I am thinking 2017 time frame. Mark the tape and I called it.

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Ha! Harrisburg or Detroit? March 5, 2014 at 10:31 am

Ha! Good call. It’s a good example of democracy running rampant & pols absconding with stolen loot voted to them by stupid people that like punching themselves in the face as long as they feel they got one over on evil businessmen & rich people.

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Nikki March 5, 2014 at 9:47 am

Will you be helping all your employees of your many businesses relocate with you? How much sq/ft of office/work space do you require? There may be some state/county incentives available. I may be able to help.

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Yelsewh March 5, 2014 at 10:06 am

…as long as they are non-union.

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Will Folks aka Sic March 5, 2014 at 11:13 am

Hahahahahahaha! +2

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Squishy123 March 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

I too once lived in that cesspool called Columbia, then I moved to the lovely stockpond called Lexington.

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inletman March 5, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Lol. That’s great. Squishy is witty.

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John March 5, 2014 at 10:15 am

Don’t come to Greenville. I like this city and don’t want you ruining it.

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dwb619 March 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Perhaps you could have him view the availability of business venues in Possum Kingdom?

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SparkleCity March 7, 2014 at 9:27 pm

You forgot to include Sugar Tit (smack dab at the intersection of SC 296 & SC 101!!!!!)

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Jackie Chiles March 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm

He’d never make it in Greenville or Charleston. Too many people walking around with well paying jobs as a result of government incentives to BMW and Boeing. He’d throw up in disgust looking at all those chumps buying nice houses, sending their kids to good schools, and being overall productive members of society. Just sickening.

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Uh huh March 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

It’s good a small segment of SC society benefits from the redistribution of wealth.

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Smirks March 5, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Beats the hell out of stagnate job growth in a state with a dead economy. It might not be ideal, but SC needs those kinds of jobs.

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Uh huh March 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

How many jobs does this fascism cost the state of SC? Do you think it only creates them and costs nothing?

“it might not be ideal”-yea, no kidding

SparkleCity March 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm

No doubt the movers and shakers in the Upstate are hypocrites but they are forward looking/moving ahead hypocrites who covet a $2000 per night whore better than anybody else in the world!!!!!

You’ll find no skanks from exit 56 to 40 on I-85 or I-385 into Greenville!!!!!

Been that way since the early “70’s!!!!!

gococks March 5, 2014 at 10:39 am

we won’t be far behind you, quite honestly.

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tomstickler March 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

Do you know the way to Galt’s Gulch?

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Hoop de dooooo March 5, 2014 at 10:58 am

A la Detroit – when the going gets tough just cut’ n run. If a wishy washy political blogger is ready to surrender then I suppose all is lost. I would have believed you if you had put it more simply: “the real estate prices have become unaffordable”. When it comes time for kiddies to head off to grammar school many parents are faced with leaving the inner-city when faced with the option of private school or public school. It does make one face the reality of their lot in life. By the time your kid gets to Irmo they will probably have more students than USC did when you were funneling beers on Saturday morning at the horseshoe. Life sucks unless you are T-Rat.

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Tom March 5, 2014 at 11:03 am

“(to say nothing of a country that’s as increasingly anti-competitive as the United States)”

Why stop with Richland County, why don’t you leave the State and Country. That will show us. I just wish those leaving the US were not allowed to conduct business here. Because when they do they are just leeching off the Taxpayers, who created the infrastructure and legal system that make people want to do business here.

Of course this little tantrum is all Teanutarian BS. The cost of living in Richland County or Columbia is not going to be significantly higher than the cost of living in any other major city in SC; and not a lot more than living in a small town. Certainly not more than the cost of living in Charleston or Charlotte. If a couple of thousand tax deductible dollars a year makes a difference in your business, your business is not contributing that much anyway.

But you do have a point. Columbia should take notice. The cost of living in New York San Francisco, LA, Atlanta,etc, and anywhere in SC, NC, Georgia or Florida within a quarter mile of the coastline is going to be way higher than cost of living in Columbia, and you would not want to be like them, a desolate wasteland with no businesses.

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west_rhino March 5, 2014 at 11:14 am

…can’t think of a worse place in the Palmetto state to run a business…
You’re forgetting Charleston.

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Gregory Geddings March 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Please! Don’t encourage him. Not in my back yard!

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Just another Joe March 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

May I suggest the Sandy Run community in Calhoun County.

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Lucinda March 6, 2014 at 8:51 am

If you like floods, redneck swamp rats and meth trailer explosions on a weekly basis. Add to that a 30 minute trek for a fresh loaf of bread and having to buy your 3 year old a 4 wheeler “cause diddy, all the kids have ’em”.

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Beam Me Up Scottie March 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

You’ll still be able to keep in touch with us friend, this is bitchin; coming this Summer.
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/us-company-to-beam-free-wifi-to-entire-world-from-space/454350-2.html

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Smirks March 5, 2014 at 11:49 am

Hahaha…

On the one hand, I don’t know why you just chose -now- to leave. So you don’t like the new tax hike and blah blah blah, but Columbia and Richland have been shitholes for a while now, bro.

On the other hand, it is funny that your decision is being driven by a couple of corrupt morons and a penny tax. I wanted the hell out of there because of, oh, I don’t know, the staggeringly high crime rates? The stone-throw-from-a-ghetto subdivisions? The incompetent local government leaders? The myriad of screw ups and piss poor management? The fact that we tried harder to catch Michael Phelps for smoking weed than we do cracking down on Five Points crime?

Columbia is a mess, but if you’re leaving to escape the evil taxes, have fun either living in bumfuck nowhere (hope you REALLY plan on sending your kids to private school then!) or simply moving somewhere that has -slightly- lower taxes.

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Jackie Chiles March 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm

racist

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SparkleCity March 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Just move to Cherokee County and lay low……..

You’re only 30 minutes from Charlotte (a REAL World Class city!!!)

Fuck a bunch of South Carolina = Pay lower taxes and spend your funny money in Charlotte on world class entertainment and culture!!!!

It is the best of both worlds!!!!!!!

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dltdhyita March 5, 2014 at 12:41 pm

You’re gonna move your whole family in 60 days and you don’t even know where you’re going?
Sure, that makes sense.

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Gregory Geddings March 6, 2014 at 8:26 am

Maybe he is waiting for a passing Gypsy caravan to take him in. He could learn to play fiddle and pick pockets for a living. Heck, he’s been picking Howard Rich’s pocket for some time now so it’s not like he can’t adapt to the vagabond lifestyle.

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SenseLikeChaps March 7, 2014 at 1:10 pm

So N. Augusta?

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jimlewisowb March 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

If you head West up I-26 don’t pull off at Chapin

Three members of the City Council just filed a lawsuit against the new Mayor who is acting and sounding a lot like T Bone but is in reality a Shank Ham

Have always liked Little Mountain area. Also during the last election do believe no one ran for Mayor

If you settle in Little Mountain you could possibly end up as Mayor and with a little effort reinstate the Little Mountain Reunion which is sorely missed by thousands

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Ana Banan March 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

The former mayor of Lexington gave away million-dollar (Barr Lake) acreage to a developer for $60K behind closed doors– acreage that had been protected and preserved by local conservation groups and used by many as public naturelands for fishing, camping, wildlife education and pond preserve. Without running the transaction it by government officials or the public/constituents this mayor served, he thoughtfully withheld letting this information leak for 60 days…just the amount of time it takes to be ineligible to recant or change any part of the transaction by law. Meanwhile, his daughter gets the marriage ceremony with all the frills. Thankfully, the dirtbag was voted out of office…albeit by a handful of votes.
The projects taken on by the NEW mayor involve timing the traffic lights to minimize emissions and fuel consumption as well as have the roads flow more efficiently; beautifying the storefronts (providing the store owners with $6K in beautification — which has already yielded more than 10x the ROI, allegedly and per the new mayor); and adding other features to make Lexington better for residents and businesses. I hope it maintains its small-town appeal — that is one of the characteristics that add charm and hospitality.
Columbia/Richland County is run by inept thugs who care less about quality of their decisions and more about disregard for the laws — using their elected position to pressure law enforcement to look the other way. SC State University is a classic example — and look at the legislators arguing to just hand them millions without a business plan….I mean, in what world does such irresponsibility get rewarded with a big cash infusion??? And it’s their alumni who are ‘serving the State’ pushing to ‘give away’ our hard-earned dollars to a university that has never met basic standards of ethics, programs, or campus resources — yet their board members are well-paid and have yet to do anything ‘for’ that university. What a joke!

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Bible Thumper March 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Moving outa the city? There’s a n empty trailer next to mine. You can come to my Church. Lookin for a new pastor though. He got bit by a rattler at our last service.

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Bible Thumper March 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Your wife will have to cover her ankles if she attends.

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SparkleCity March 7, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Them two’s funny right thar

I don’t care who your are!!

Forgive me and the pygmies in New Guenieeee

Amen

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bcshealy March 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Our finest day in Columbia was the day we saw our Richland County home in our rear view mirror seven years ago as we moved to Lexington, and we haven’t regretted it for a single second. Now when we hear the outrageous things going on in the city or Richland County, we just shake our heads in disbelief.

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Jackie Chiles March 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Columbia City Council is calling an emergency meeting to see what it can do to convince Sic to stay in Columbia so that it may continue to receive the $400 in annual taxes that Sic contributes to the City of Columbia. Word on the street is Richland County is in the process of re-working its entire budget because of the loss of revenue caused by Sic’s taking his $500 per year in county taxes elsewhere.

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Uh huh March 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Just like Detroit(and maybe soon Cali and NY), it’s not the Sic’s of the world leaving…it’s thousands of Sic’s leaving over time due to poor policies…the proverbial death by a thousand cuts.

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Jackie Chiles March 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Columbia would probably benefit if a bunch of broke bloggers moved out of the area.

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Uh huh March 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm

lol…sure

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Gregory Geddings March 7, 2014 at 7:41 am

You forgot to add the N to cuts…

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Jimmy Dean March 5, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Well don’t move to Lexington County………they’re trying to pass a penny tax here soon too!

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Lee Padgett March 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm

There are quite a few here in Georgetown SC that would welcome you. We have turned away a penny sales tax. Forced City Council not to do a revenue neutral millage increase among other victories. We would welcome another voice of reason.

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt March 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

First of all, I’m glad the website will still be around. In a weird way I find it a refreshing and entertaining experience…sort of like being forced to watch a rom-com with your partner on occasion.

I can relate to your great escape (as I no longer live in S.C. and now reside in Beirut as I needed somewhere more stable with fewer guns, cooler heads and a less religious government). However, I agree with the other posters that you are really only leaping from the frying pan into the fire if you’re earnestly only moving out of Richland to get away from tax and spend despotism.

Every inch of America is taxed. There’s no avoiding it. We can quibble on rates but generally speaking (please refer to Gallup or other easily traceable studies) the “blue” states and locales with the highest taxes are the ones with the best economies and quality of life indexes. The South consistently ranks in the bottom of the bottom tier on these. Just sayin’

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Beachtiger0412 March 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Will – I hate to tell you this – but the Dept of Commerce will NOT give you any incentive money to locate to a county that Nikki Haley needs jobs in to make herself look good.

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Beachtiger0412 March 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm

By the way Will – I hear Nikki Haley’s parents house on the lake is for sale for a little over 1 mil – you could buy that and work from home.

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Dog Vomit March 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I suggest western Spartanburg County, preferably in either school districts 4 or 5, or the Mauldin / Simpsonville area in Greenville County. Best of luck to you & your family!

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CorruptionInColumbia March 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Awesome screen name and avatar!!!!!!

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Dog Vomit March 6, 2014 at 9:21 am

Thanks!!!

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SparkleCity March 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

We don’t need another fucking soul in Boiling Springs adding to the mess on SC 9 or the dipshits on SC 290

Go somewhere else!!!!!

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Town Crier March 6, 2014 at 2:36 am

I don’t blame you. I left Richland County long ago and moved just a few miles away to Lexington County. Lower taxes, less crime overall, better schools. Sure, Lexington has some problems, but I’d still choose Lexington over Richland any day.

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P. O. Strom March 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

You probably don’t want to move to Lexington County. They’re tough on wife/girlfriend beaters over there.

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Really? March 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm

How do you know? A friend of a friend or something?

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Chris March 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Good – Why don’t you do everyone a favor, go a step further, and leave South Carolina.

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Jonny D March 7, 2014 at 10:05 pm

HaHaHa I’m calling BULLSHIT on this, ain’t gonna happen, never, no way no how, what you gonna do move in with the Ice Princess, HaHaHa, you’re Columbia from the yolk asshole, and I’m your favorite Masshole ;-) just checking in to say hi after a few years on the lam :-))

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