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Another Palmetto Tax Hike “Two-Step” Is Afoot …




Lexington County, S.C. wants to follow the lead of its neighbor, Richland County, in passing a massive sales tax hike this fall.  Dubbed “Pennies for Progress,” this tax hike campaign – which is being run by “Republican” consultant Chip Felkel – represents the classic big government playbook at work.

First, the county shortchanges core functions of government (like law enforcement, emergency response services, etc.).  Then it plants stories in the liberal mainstream media about how these shortages are adversely impacting public safety.  The only option?  Raise taxes …

Oh, and if that doesn’t work … steal the election.

Nobody’s going to stop them, right?

Right …

Here’s the thing, though: Last time we checked Lexington County was sitting on a $65 million surplus.  And that’s after blowing millions of dollars on totally unnecessary crap like a $36 million dollar bailout for the local zoo (which it was already subsidizing along with Richland County to the tune of more than $3 million annually).

Seriously … don’t bitch and moan about slow emergency response times when your government is spending tens of millions of dollars on a friggin’ zoo .

Anyway, what’s especially insidious about the Lexington County tax hike – which seeks to deprive the citizens of the county of more than $400 million – is the open-ended obligation it would place on property owners.

Wait … isn’t this a sales tax hike?  Yes, it is … but there’s a provision buried deep within the “Pennies for Progress” ordinance that would authorize county government to raise property taxes on its residents “in the event such sales and use tax is inadequate.”

Great …

Anybody want to guess how this is going to turn out?  No? We’ll spare you the suspense: Sales taxes will go up.  Leaders will still declare the revenue to be “inadequate.”  Then property taxes will go up.  And then a few years later the cycle will repeat itself after all the new money gets funneled away from core functions and into unnecessary government (like the $110,000 the county recently spent planting trees around its court house).

This is theft, people.  Pure theft.

UPDATE: Lexington residents can thank Nikki Haley if this tax hike passes.

UPDATE II: For those of you keeping score at home, Lexington County is currently sitting on a $75.7 million cash reserve.