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SC Penny Tax Lawsuits Roll On

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CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE REFUSES TO TOSS “RICHLAND COUNTY ROBBERY” CASE …

A South Carolina circuit court judge has refused to toss one of two high-profile cases involving the infamous “Richland County Robbery,” a $1.2 billion tax hike that was “approved” in 2012 via a rigged, countywide election.

As a result, both cases – one filed against Richland County by the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) and another filed by good government gadfly Ned Sloan – remain alive and kicking.

That’s good news for taxpayers …

Unfortunately, the ruling issued by circuit court judge Thomas Cooper fails address the stolen election – which at this point has been completely swept under the rug.  However it does deal with the legality of the tax hike that was “passed” – and whether county officials are complying with the state law that permitted them to impose and collect this tax in the first place.

“The ordinance that enacts (the) penny tax is broader than state statute that authorizes the tax,” a source familiar with the ruling told us.

In other words, the tax is illegal.

These issues came to a head last April when former SCDOR director Rick Reames suspended the disbursement of proceeds from this tax hike to the county – arguing that the money was not being spent “compliance with the state’s tax laws.”

Reames’ agency uncovered glaring illegalities in the way the county was appropriating revenue from this $1.2 billion “penny tax” – including all sorts of shady payouts to politically-connected firms.

State law allows for county governments to impose a one-cent sales tax increase – but only if they spend this money on infrastructure projects.

Richland County leaders were able to get their spigot turned back on – however they have been unable to shut down the lawsuits against their ongoing graft.

One of those lawsuits features SCDOR as a plaintiff.  The second one – the subject of Cooper’s ruling – features Sloan and his South Carolina Public Interest Foundation as plaintiffs.

And from the looks of it, they’ve got one helluva case …

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Cooper’s ruling represents a seismic rebuke of corrupt Richland County leaders – and a sweeping victory for SCDOR, Sloan’s foundation and South Carolina taxpayers. Hopefully it will lead to a verdict that holds local governments in the Palmetto State accountable when they raise taxes under false pretenses.

If so, some good might actually come out of this case …

Meanwhile, we continue to hope that someone – somewhere – eventually drops the hammer on the politicians and election officials who conspired to steal this election four-and-a-half years ago.

Banner via iStock

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