At the end of last legislative session, South Carolina state Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) filibustered a massive gasoline tax hike in the Palmetto State. Senator Davis correctly noted that the package under consideration in the Senate did nothing to reform the state’s highly dysfunctional transportation system that favors parochialism over statewide needs. Senator Davis has maintained that reforming the transportation system should be a prerequisite for serious discussion about additional revenue. Though he succeeded in temporarily stalling the measure last year, big government Republicans and Democrats are pushing hard to get it passed this session.
With the bill back on the Senate floor, Senator Davis has continued his heroic filibuster of the ill-conceived plan for a third straight day. Even assuming the bill passes, it would likely be met with a swift veto from Governor Haley.
National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has weighed in on this debate. We believe that if the gasoline tax is increased, the General Assembly must couple it with an equal or larger income tax cut, as well as elimination of the Transportation Commission, which would allow the Transportation Secretary to be accountable directly to the Governor. This is how constitutional government is supposed to work. This package was laid out by Governor Haley, including in her last two State of the State addresses as well as in her Fiscal Year 2016-17 Executive Budget.
NTU applauds Senator Davis and Governor Haley for their dogged determination to reform a broken transportation system. Taxpayers in the Palmetto State should be watching this debate very carefully.