Letter: Just Say “NO” To Greenville Tax Hike

Dear Editor, Picture this: Greenville County Councilman Fred Payne could cost you, the taxpayer, dearly. Do you think he thinks about you when he considers raising your taxes? Probably not. Consider this: We already pay taxes with a road maintenance fee that’s supposed to repair county roads. We also pay…

Dear Editor,

Picture this: Greenville County Councilman Fred Payne could cost you, the taxpayer, dearly. Do you think he thinks about you when he considers raising your taxes? Probably not.

Consider this: We already pay taxes with a road maintenance fee that’s supposed to repair county roads. We also pay the gas tax that’s supposed to pay for state roads, but Greenville County only gets back 4 cents of 16 cents back.

Here are the facts regarding the proposed 1 percent sales tax increase. The taxpayers can’t afford it, and someone like Councilman Fred Payne should know that right? Wrong. He has said many times that he supports the increase.

“There’s a big problem and not enough money. The state doesn’t have a solution to solve it. Their plan is an 83-year plan. We need to solve this at the county level,” Payne told GSA Business.

I agree that we need to solve it at the county level. My first solution is to get rid of out-of-touch politicians like Payne. We need a strong write-in candidate to compete with Payne.

There is a moral issue with this sales tax. Payne wants to build a bike trail in his district, which is the wealthy part of the county. That project, which benefits a few, will hurt the working poor countywide.

The tax will cost $300 extra a year for a family of two. Do you have an extra $300 to give to the government? I know that I don’t.

This is basically robbing from the poor to give to the rich, a reverse Robin Hood-move.

The tax increase will take $65 million a year out of the local economy. The 1 percent tax increase means that people are getting fewer goods for the same money and thus their direct standard of living is reduced because they are paying more for goods.

It is immoral that Fred Payne would try to put the largest tax hike in Greenville County’s history on struggling families. Payne knows that the big lobbyists and special interest groups and the contractors are very successful when it comes to getting these tax hikes passed. The only way we can really stop this tax hike, which I say is a immoral tax, is to stop it from going on the ballot.

Give us the roads we deserve using the money we already pay.

Let’s send Councilman Payne a message. I’m sure he’d love to hear from us. 864-963-1564.


Joshua Cook
Greenville, S.C.


sic speaking

Joshua- Thanks for submitting this and thanks for continuing to hold Upstate officials accountable to the taxpayers they are supposed to be representing. Best of luck in your efforts.

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Just another guy April 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

Everyone thinks Greenville is conservative area but it is just like the General Assembly. They are addicted to money and spending it. Hell, Greenville County is sitting on over 100 million in the bank, yet we need more money for roads. BTW, if you read what they want, most are going in and making more roads bike friendly and improving the swamp rabbit trail, nothing really to do with repairing roads at all.

vicupstate April 23, 2014 at 9:24 am

That fund balance, provides for a AAA credit rating. If you spend that money, then the rating is reduced and the interest on the debt goes up. That hits the School district as well. You reduce you reserves while at the same time increasing your costs. Not a wise move.

A gang of thieves writ large April 23, 2014 at 10:51 am

Yes, perhaps a wiser move is to not have debt and not worry about it.

vicupstate April 23, 2014 at 9:22 am

There are more potholes in Greenville than blades of grass. How much does a front-end alignment cost?

The gas tax is based on a PER GALLON basis rather than a per DOLLAR basis. The revenue does not rise with the price of gas. Cars are more fuel efficient now, so less is paid in. The gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1987. Therefore every year you lose ground to inflation and less work can be done.

The state has no plan to fix this issue and while a gas tax increase would be preferable to a general sales tax, the G.A. will not go that route because of the Club for No Growth tax pledge.

We will not have a growing economy if we let our infrastructure go to pot.

southmauldin April 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

Don’t confuse Joshua’s talking points with your facts. Russ Cassell and his ilk has the dumbasses like this guy believing that County Council is voting for a tax increase. They are merely voting to allow this to be put on the ballot for the voters to decide. Why do people like Joshua not trust the voters of the county to decide this? I for one want the gas tax to increase, but that will not happen for the exact reason you have outlines. This is the only way to fix these roads. Well, I guess the Infrastructure Bank can abandon I-73 and the 526 connector, but we know that ain’t gonna happen.

Smirks April 23, 2014 at 10:26 am

Well, I guess the Infrastructure Bank can abandon I-73 and the 526 connector, but we know that ain’t gonna happen.

I wish they would. I do agree that boondoggles should be scrapped and DOT should get its house in order to show the taxpayers good faith that it is acting in their best interests. At that point, if a tax increase was shown as necessary, the “NO RAISING TAXES EVER” crowd could go suck an egg.

As it stands, though, incompetence and corruption will keep costs high and the “anti-tax all the time” crowd will keep funding low, so the only result that comes from that is broken, crumbling roads.

RogueElephant April 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

If it can be stopped before it gets to the ballot you may save the taxation al together. Once it gets on the ballot the parasite class (mostly Democrats) will vote for any tax increase. They get the freebys as it is and don’t care. The recent vote in Richland Co. is indicative of how it works. The tax and spend types will use anything to advance their agenda. I live in a county where ,in the city, there is an additional penny for town as well as the penny for county. We have water parks, sidewalks to nowhere, and empty industrial parks to show for all the wasted tax money. I say, kill the beast as quickly as possible.

vicupstate April 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm

No city is allowed to levy a general sales tax. Only counties can do so.

Hospitality taxes (on prepared food) can be levied by either a town/city or by the county. In that case, the tax and the funds only go to the government that levied it, and no one is subject to both city and county hospitality taxes. It is one or the other.

Greenville has well run elections, and doesn’t have 7 hour waits to vote either.

Watching a Republican Lie April 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Ah Vic you done gone and ruined this Right Wing nut nuts rant by confusing him with the facts!

RogueElephant April 23, 2014 at 4:24 pm

In my county we have a “capital improvements tax of 1%. In the City we have a hospitality tax of 1%. What ever you call it we have it as proof. It is still a tax no matter what it is called.

vicupstate April 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

The capital improvement tax was approved by the voters of whatever county. Any idea of the margin? Which county, btw?

Nölff April 23, 2014 at 9:23 am

People who clog up traffic with bicycles don’t pay road taxes like the people who drive cars and trucks. They frigg up traffic too.

A point April 23, 2014 at 10:48 am

In a free market road system there wouldn’t be “free riders” doing such a thing.

jimlewisowb April 23, 2014 at 9:27 am

Looking forward to campaigning against the Lexington County tax hik

John April 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

MBA from North Greenville “University.” ‘Nuff said.

Ad Hominem April 23, 2014 at 10:49 am

Probably one more MBA than you have though.

John April 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Correct. But do you really think any degree from North Greenville is worth bragging about?

Smirks April 23, 2014 at 9:59 am

$300 for a family of two, just to build a bike trail? There’s noooothing else that money would be used for? That claim sounds exceedingly fishy to me, but eh, I don’t live in Greenville, so believe or do whatever you folks want.

vicupstate April 23, 2014 at 10:35 am

Yoh would be right. There is a long list of road projects. As is typical, the tea nuts take one line item and extrapolate to the entire issue.

Smirks April 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

Hell, I’m still waiting for Joshua to enlighten us how he intends to solve this issue at the county level. You know, besides replacing politicians he doesn’t like. I assume he’ll fix everything without raising taxes one red cent? Who doesn’t enjoy a good magic show?

Justin Alexander April 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

My understanding is that the state retains an excess of tax revenue from Greenville County. Spartanburg County is currently attempting to recoup the excess due them. To my knowledge, Greenville County is not yet pursuing this.

South Simpsonville April 23, 2014 at 11:08 am

I agree with most of what you have written. However, Payne does not represent the wealthy part of the county – at all. His district probably has the widest cross-section of the county demographic of any of the districts.

All in all Payne has been a good councilman. Unfortunately he has gotten a bit off track lately with pie in the sky ideas (such as flying transit solutions) in hopes of garnering more votes.

Bottom line – it is probably time to show him the road. However, if you look at his bio it is easy to realize where he gets his bacon from and that kind of institutional backing will be difficult to defeat.

Rocky April 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Stuff like this in the Update – I just say – Pray and the Good Lord will provide for you.

Deo Vindice SC April 23, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Vote Haley and be done with it, maybe this time she can grab a coat tail to her future of bliss. Hopefully she’ll be out of the state for good.

Slartibartfast April 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm

A couple of points. Greenville’s “poor” have, on average, two color TVs, a car, free rent, free food, free phones, all the crack they can assimilate, and enough babies to pave all the streets. This is also true of several other cities in our beloved state. This is, also, why we don’t have enough money to widen our highways and repave our streets.

Eventually, we’re going to have to decide to spend the money for those who are paying the taxes, or for those who don’t. We simply cannot continue to keep spending in the current manner.

Tomocchio April 26, 2014 at 9:33 pm

What this state needs is a 1% sales tax that goes to HIGHER EDUCATION. It is criminal how these government officials ignore the most important structure in this state.


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