BAD MOVE, LAWMAKERS …
S.C. governor Nikki Haley rarely uses her veto pen … but last week she broke it out for a good cause. Specifically, Haley vetoed a bill that would have permitted local municipalities to extend existing increases without a vote of the people.
The prime pushers of this legislation? Corrupt coastal South Carolina “leaders” eager to reauthorize a $30 million-a-year sales tax first approved in 2009 by city council members.
Yes … we’re referring to the infamous “Coastal Kickback,” one of the most brazen pay-to-play scams we’ve ever covered.
Did lawmakers have her back? No … they did not.
Haley’s veto was overridden in the S.C. House by an 80-13 margin. In the S.C. Senate, it was overridden by a 40-5 margin. As a result, Myrtle Beach’s municipal leaders will be able to extend this unpopular, ineffective tax hike through 2029.
Other municipalities will also be able to extend their own “tourism taxes” without the approval of the citizens they represent.
That’s not good …
Government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing tourism marketing efforts. It certainly shouldn’t be in the business of imposing tourism-related tax hikes on its citizens without their consent.
Haley had this one right … lawmakers should have had her back.