SC

“Penny Tax” Criminal Probe Ongoing

WHILE CORRUPT COUNTY GOVERNMENT WHINES … INVESTIGATION ROLLS ON There’s a curious article in The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper today detailing corrupt Richland County’s response to an ongoing S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) investigation of its “penny tax” program. We’re referring, of course, to the $1.2 billion boondoggle approved via…

WHILE CORRUPT COUNTY GOVERNMENT WHINES … INVESTIGATION ROLLS ON

There’s a curious article in The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper today detailing corrupt Richland County’s response to an ongoing S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) investigation of its “penny tax” program.

We’re referring, of course, to the $1.2 billion boondoggle approved via a “rigged election” four years ago.

As we exclusively reported earlier this week, SCDOR has put a temporary hold on proceeds from this tax until county leaders demonstrate they are spending these ill-gotten gains in accordance with state law.  This bold move by SCDOR director Rick Reames has put county governments all across the Palmetto State on notice: If you raise the sales tax to fund “infrastructure,” you damn well better spend the money on “infrastructure.”

Is Richland County doing that?  Hell no.

Anyway the article – written by reporter Sarah Ellis – is a lengthy spleen-venting from corrupt county leaders.

They bemoan the “shadow cast over (the) program” and bitch incessantly about the cost of implementing SCDOR’s directives – which they say the state has no authority to impose.

Wait … what?

That’s right … uber-liberal council vice-chairman Greg Pearce claimed that complying with SCDOR’s directives would “potentially require the county to collect millions more from taxpayers” over the life of the 22-year levy.

Is this guy serious?

The only way complying with SCDOR would cost taxpayers is if Pearce and his fellow leftists insist on continuing to funnel millions of dollars toward their well-connected cronies.

Absent that … no problems!

Anyway, after devoting the vast majority of her ink to the regurgitation of these demonstrably dishonest bureaucratic lamentations, Ellis inserted a crucial detail into the tail end of her report.

Responding to Pearce’s allegation that the county had been singled out by Reames, SCDOR spokeswoman Ashley Thomas defended her boss – saying he “believes that the millions of dollars in no bid contracts unrelated to specific transportation projects violate state law.”

Indeed they do.  But it’s what Thomas said next that we found very interesting …

“Given that a criminal investigation is ongoing, further comment is inappropriate,” Thomas told Ellis.

Whoa!

Talk about burying the lede …

Obviously, we know there is a criminal component to this investigation because two people have already been busted in connection with it.  We also know these arrests came in spite of – not because of – the “work” of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson, who has lost all credibility when it comes to prosecuting public corruption.

But Thomas’ statement should be a jarring reminder to everyone covering this mess that we’re not just talking about the tax man making a few suggestions following a comprehensive audit … we’re talking about an ongoing probe of allegedly criminal activity.

Hopefully that probe will one day take us back to the root of this whole scandal: The stolen election of 2012.

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