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So Long, Columbia




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.