Editorials from elsewhere
The majority sentiment in the state Legislature is for no new taxes — witness the failure to impose an increase in the gas tax, despite the demonstrable need. The unwillingness to provide a gas tax hike is a false frugality, since roads and bridges continue to deteriorate, along with the safety of the motoring public.
The same false economy model is used in the allocation to the Local Government Fund. The Legislature sets it at 4.5 percent of the previous year’s budget, but then fails to deliver on its funding pledge.
Local governments feel the pinch across the state, with the biggest pain sustained by the counties. As Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler said, “When the state does not provide the resources promised to cover its mandated services, local governments and taxpayers are forced to cover the difference.”
Post & Courier
Road building and road repair is a mathematical equation, not a political one. We don’t see nearly enough fact-based analysis on where to spend highway dollars. Nobody knows who to question because the line of accountability is blurred by politics in the legislature. That old system should not be trusted with a 12-cents-per-gallon tax increase on gasoline. …
Also, the legislature should drop the notion that fixing roads is connected to lowering the state income tax. It is not. South Carolina has one of the lowest effective income tax rates in the nation. But even if it wanted to shoot holes in its revenue stream, that’s another issue. It has nothing to do with the gas tax.
We know that South Carolina has a roads and bridges problem. We have ridden on Interstate 95.
But the root of the problem is governance. And you don’t fix that problem by covering it up with money. You fix that by first changing the way the state decides how to spend money on roads and bridges.
For too long, South Carolina law kept college out of reach for too many student veterans.
Before the passage of a bill sponsored by South Carolina Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, during this past session, a one-year wait time existed for service members leaving the military to receive in-state tuition.
These are the men and women who have fought to protect us. Shutting out veterans from receiving a quality education merely because they haven’t lived in our state quite long enough was a totally misguided stipulation.
Thankfully, Young’s bill was actually passed by the General Assembly last month, and on Tuesday, Gov. Nikki Haley held a ceremonial bill signing at USC Aiken, which was hosted by the school’s Veteran and Military Student Success Center.
Food for Thought
▪ “We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.”
▪ “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”