I challenge Gov. Nikki Haley and our Legislature to take a courageous, progressive step for South Carolina by making the following statement as an answer to our road problems:
We’ve heard the complaints of our citizens about the conditions of our roads and the pleas of our business and industry leaders to improve our highways to ensure continued economic development.
Therefore, we have reconsidered our earlier positions and propose three initiatives to improve our highways.
1. Replace the $300 vehicle sales tax cap with an exemption of the first $10,000 cost for a vehicle. Above the $10,000 cost, institute a progressive tax of 5 percent for the next $10,000 or part thereof, 6 percent for the next $10,000 or part thereof, 7 percent for the next $10,000 or part thereof. This will enable the less fortunate to purchase a vehicle for little if any additional tax liability while requiring those purchasing more expensive vehicles to pay more.
2. Eliminate the $300 sales tax cap entirely as it relates to the purchase of boats, yachts and private airplanes, and tax them like any other purchases.
3. Institute a 10 percent sales tax on gasoline; since it’s a sales tax instead of a per-gallon tax, it will bring in more revenue to keep pace with inflation, just like any sales tax.
We commit all of these taxes, which are in reality user fees, to improve our highway system in South Carolina.