Exclusive: Details Of SC Senate’s Alternative Roads Plan Revealed

AMENDMENT TO EXISTING PROPOSAL WOULD RAISE GAS TAX, LOWER INCOME TAX, “REFORM” SCDOT || By FITSNEWS || A group of “Republican” Senators will roll out an alternative transportation revenue plan this week – one they say will not raise taxes on dirt poor South Carolinians. According to executive branch sources…


|| By FITSNEWS || A group of “Republican” Senators will roll out an alternative transportation revenue plan this week – one they say will not raise taxes on dirt poor South Carolinians.

According to executive branch sources briefed on the proposal’s broad strokes, the new Senate plan will feature a 12-cent increase in the state’s gas tax over the next three years.  However it would also lower each of the Palmetto State’s individual income tax brackets – including the top marginal rate of seven percent – by one percentage point over five years.

“At no point (in the implementation of the plan) are we talking about a tax hike,” one Senator told FITS.

Additionally, the plan would include several measures aimed at reforming the state’s chronically cash-strapped, perpetually mismanaged Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

Senators who spoke with FITS refused to confirm specifics of the plan – set to be unveiled at the S.C. State House later this week – however they confirmed it would not raise taxes on South Carolina citizens.

“I’ve agreed not to share details however it will have the components the governor asked for,” one Senator told FITS. “Except for a tax cut instead of revenue neutrality.”

After consistently opposing gas tax hikes, S.C. governor Nikki Haley asked lawmakers to raise the gas tax by ten cents over a three-year time frame in exchange for lowering the state’s top marginal rate by two percentage points over ten years.  She claimed her plan was the “largest tax cut in South Carolina history,” although pro-taxpayer groups like the S.C. Policy Council panned its specifics.

Lawmakers also balked at Haley – with the “Republican-controlled” House of Representatives proposing a $427 million tax hike and the “Republican-controlled” Senate proposing an $800 million tax hike.

Haley had a field day blasting those proposals …

Will she support this amended plan?

We’ll have to see … although it does include the same general ideas she has been advancing.

Will powerful S.C. Senator Hugh Leatherman (a fiscal liberal who has led the charge for tax increases) support the amended plan?

Again, we’ll have to see …

This website has consistently opposed gas tax hikes … arguing that lawmakers who have grown the state budget by roughly $1 billion a year over the past five years should (and do) have more than enough money to fund this core function of government.

“While the Palmetto State’s roads and bridges crumble, its lawmakers continue to pass record-setting budgets,” we wrote earlier this year.  “Included therein?  Billions of dollars for South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run school system, its duplicative and inefficient higher education system, bailouts for wealthy corporations, shady ‘economic development‘ deals and … lest we forget … dozens of exorbitantly expensive and totally unnecessary highway projects.”

Indeed …

They’ve also deliberately reduced funding for maintenance while expanding it for unnecessary new projects.

South Carolinians simply cannot afford to see their tax burden increased – especially when it comes to fuel.  As we’ve consistently noted, our motorists pay a higher percentage of their incomes on fuel than residents of any other state save Mississippi or West Virginia.

UPDATE: Ruh-roh … the fine print on this “compromise” is bad.  Real bad.


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unclewillie1 May 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm

“core function of government” .. well it’s nice to know there is a function for government around here.

FastEddy23 May 8, 2015 at 9:39 pm

The “core function of government” is more government.

Native Ink May 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm

This “exclusive” is kinda pointless without details of the proposed “reforms.” Man, you have to put half your words in “‘s when discussing Fits and S.C. politicians.

snickering May 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm

This is the worst liar,liar pants on fire plan I have ever heard of. You’re raising taxes PERIOD and try to use government double speak to the citizens is horrible. And this SC General Assembly will never lower taxes because they can’t. This state needs close to 300 Billion dolllars to even start addressing the Highway, Bridges. One last thing before I go to bed “THERE IS NO PLAN’ THERE IS ONLY CORRUPTION.

FastEddy23 May 8, 2015 at 9:38 pm

You got it right.

snickering May 9, 2015 at 8:39 am

Why would people believe a raise on gas tax isn’t them paying this tax. It’s their money.

snickering May 11, 2015 at 9:03 am

Thanks Fast Eddy23.

FastEddy23 May 6, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Mmmmm … That sounds like a hose-the-poor plan.

The poor don’t pay much income tax, but the do have to pay a gas tax if the need to get downtown to collect food stamps and welfare.

Cutty Snark May 7, 2015 at 8:05 am

They love to hose the poor. Now that they don’t have actual slave wenches to hose.

FastEddy23 May 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm

“Yes, yes, yes … Stand on that chair … You can leave your hat on … I know what love is”

State Income Tax May 7, 2015 at 10:15 am

The poor do pay state income tax. Do you even know what you are talking about?

FastEddy23 May 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Of course they do. That’s my point. Even if they don’t file, those income taxes their landlords pay come outta the rents … Is this not taught in common core math classes? … Doh!

Rakkasan May 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm

What welfare? What is the name of the program you call “welfare”

Rakkasan May 7, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Cat got your tongue Eddy?

FastEddy23 May 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Stupid is? What welfare do you think? “Obama’s stash”. The “g’ment check”. The Dole.

They just had an election in England and the welfare sluts lost.

I suppose one could by stretching the definitions a bit, by calling unemployment “insurance” a welfare program … that is after all subsidized by Gruberment and pays far more to the unemployed than they ever contribute to the welfare system.

dm10ae May 7, 2015 at 12:42 am

The increase in gas tax doesn’t mean the money will be set aside for roads, but just another means to tax us to death. The tax swap is tax the poor and give the rich a break in taxes over 10 years but the 12 cents is over 3 years-10 years reduce 2 percentage points LMAO. Last year the legislators robbed the SHIMS $93 MILLION AND PLACED IT THE GENERAL FUND. SHIMS was a 3 cents gas tax supposedly for road maintenance and improvements.

look it up May 7, 2015 at 5:09 am

If massive tax cuts were the answer to increased prosperity wouldn’t’ Brownback have created a utopia in Kansas by now?

As it is…well not so much…just Google it…

nitrat May 7, 2015 at 7:45 am

Well, keep in mind that living children in the NICUs are not nearly as important to the average GOPer as a fetus.

Cutty Snark May 7, 2015 at 8:03 am

They even love the fetuses they are willing to force to starve to death just to death a few years after birth. “afterbirth” … that reminds me. They may soon make it a crime to destroy afterbirth. Unless it is fried up in a sammich smeared with Dooks and served to them by hot, nekkid, barely legal, pregnant and barefoot “Republican” women. FITS will have the exclusive story on that soon from inside sources.

Of Course Not May 7, 2015 at 10:13 am

Babies need food, medical care, and a guardian, which they can’t provide for themselves, so sometimes the government has to pay for one or more of those. Eventually they will also need schooling, which can also be paid for by government. That is cause enough for the GOP to hate the ever loving shit out of infants. At least while they are a fetuses they aren’t costing them much of anything.

Walter Reynolds May 7, 2015 at 6:49 am

The best are the requests that are just not needed. MUSC (Charleston, SC) requesting millions for a new children’s hospital when they already are up to their necks in debt and have a nice facility. Already announced 50 million coming and then reduced to 25 and now 20! How about saving that money as they already have a facility. Just because it is time to paint does not suggest the purchase of a new home!

Ugh. May 7, 2015 at 6:53 am

The NICU at MUSC is treating fragile newborns in storage closets because of lack of space. A touch more than paint is needed to solve that problem.

How about some property tax relief? Oh wait, we need to help our doners not the majority of the population..

Toneski May 7, 2015 at 9:48 am

FITS, isn’t it a little too easy to say lawmakers “have more than enough money to fund this core function of government”? How long are we going to wait for that to happen before our roads become impassable? We know that any cutting/shifting of existing taxes will only be minimal if it happens at all.

The national average for state fuel taxes and fees is 28.2 cents. SC at 16.75 cents has state gasoline taxes that are almost as low as Alaska at 11.3 cents….a state that pumps the stuff out of the ground!

I don’t have a problem raising state gas tax….it’s long overdue. But, our politicians are shortsighted because the increase in the gas tax only gets us to “average” and due to improving fuel efficiency is unlikely to make any difference in the actual dollars going to fix and build roads. Hybrids get 40+ mpg and more are on the road everyday. All electric vehicles pay no gas tax and the growth in EV ownership is expected to continue. Tesla will be producing lithium batteries in a year at its new gigafactory and battery costs worldwide will fall dramatically over the next 5 years.

I think it could be argued that the gas tax increase we’re fretting over will be a zero increase to the total transportation budget as time goes on. Our roads will have to be paid for with some alternative means funding…..likely a sales tax. Richland County passed theirs last year and many other counties saw the light years ago and are already on their second penny tax for transportation program (the first went so well voters approved it again, these programs usually run for 5 years and then end).

So, the 12 cents increase gets us to the national average. To me, that’s a start in helping our road problems but it’s not likely to fix things long term. Georgia has a 26.5 cents state fuel tax but just implemented a huge sales tax increase on all vehicle transactions, new and used. Georgia’s lawmakers apparently see that gas tax is a decreasing revenue source going forward. But hey, since we haven’t raised our gas tax since something like the 70’s I guess we have to start somewhere….but it just means we’ll likely continue lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to funding our roads.

Guy Campbell May 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

The source is Tom Davis, isn’t it. Tom, really? A tax increase?


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