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Republicans in South Carolina complain about government, complain about taxation, complain about jobs, and complain about the economy. However who is to blame but the Republicans themselves.

The Republicans instituted an insane taxation/revenue system that state revenue relies largely on income and sales taxes and shifted away from property taxes; the Republicans keep the cigarette tax the lowest in the nation (nice way to allow cigarette companies to prey on the poor); and Republicans have kepted the predatory payday lenders in business.South Carolinians need to wake up, Republicans have not helped South Carolina but put it into economic and social chaos.

Robert Dobbs for Congress, SC-01

While good hardworking people are trying to find a job, keep a job, pay their bills, and feed their families; the leadership in the State was completely clueless. Roughly half a million adults in South Carolina are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking. This is nothing compared to South Carolinians without health insurance or that are underinsured!

The Republican Governor Mark Sanford, Republican State Senate, DINO's, and the Republican General Assembly were promising tax relief and a more simple system of taxation.  Well South Carolina you got it and when the economy tanked, this voodoo economic/taxation system went down as well and now is decimating the education system, economy, and government in South Carolina.

The Republicans (and some DINO's) would have South Carolinians believe that schools have more money now.  South Carolina don't believe it, this didn't happen!  The General Assembly added property tax relief to the existing state aid to schools through EFA (Education Finance Act), EIA (Education Improvement Act), and state grants.  This didn't create a situation in which schools had more money, but that residential property owners had more money.  These additional funds weren’t going to be used on improving the quality of K-12 education because the funds are not in the system anymore. South Carolina's renters and businesses also didn’t get tax relief either.

Republicans would have South Carolinians believe they have a lower tax rate than many other States in the nation, true but not entirely.  South Carolina may be ranked in the lower quadrant of taxation but ranks 14th in the U.S. in per capita fees and charges.  These fees are regressive, make the revenue system less equitable, and do not fund public schools.  What property owners need to understand is that with a higher value property, there is an association with a higher income and a higher ability to pay those property taxes.  These higher home values help create good quality schools, which in turn help increase the value of homes in those areas, not to mention better communities and more opportunities for businesses.

So let's look at the reliance on sales taxes as opposed to income and property taxes.  By South Carolina putting a larger reliance on sales taxes, they exposed themselves to any economic downturn in the economy and consumer spending.  What higher sales tax rates do facilitate is that South Carolinians turn to internet, catalog, and neighbor state shopping.  This creates losses of revenue for local merchants, small businesses, and local governments, in addition to the loss of revenues for the State of South Carolina.

Who pays the most as far as income taxes in South Carolina, well to put it simply the lower income and middle class?  In an analysis by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy – November 2009:

• South Carolinians earning less than $16,000 pay 7.1 percent;

• Middle-income South Carolinians earning between $27,000 and $44,000, pay 7.9 percent;

• Upper-middle income South Carolinians earning between $44,000 and $74,000 pay 8.2 percent and those earning between $74,000 and $150,000 pay 8.5 percent.

So who pays the least, of course the upper income levels in South Carolina.  In the same study as above:

• South Carolinians earning between $150,000 and $390,000 pay 7.4 percent which is lower than any other level other than those earning less than $16,000;

• South Carolinians earning above $390,000 pay only 6.4 percent, the lowest of all levels.

In this same study, Vermont’s tax system is among the least regressive in the nation because it has a highly progressive income tax and low sales and excise taxes. Vermont’s tax system is also made less unfair by the state’s refundable Earned income Tax Credit (EITC).

So South Carolina Republicans, how do you expect your system of government to function when those with the financial resources pay the least and those who don't have the financial resources pay the most?  It is a widely known fact that states that have a disproportionate reliance on sales and excise taxes make their taxes among the highest in the entire nation on low-income families.

So what do the citizens and voters of South Carolina need to do?  

First you have to understand the entire tax system needs to be restructured and this means some will pound the drums that taxes are going up.  Well they will, but for those who are currently getting away with paying less, these should change to be more equitable.  

Secondly, everyone should understand this process will take some time but the results will be better for education, lower income and middle class families, and help government properly fund services.  

Everyone wants government to be there and provide services for them, but don't want to pay for it.  The goal is to make South Carolina not a poor state anymore but one helps all become successful and earn more money, which in turn helps everyone.

Here are some facts to consider about South Carolina from the US Census Bureau:

• Of the 133,563 South Carolina families with 2006 income below the federal poverty level, two-thirds had one or more workers.

• In 2006, 22% of South Carolina’s children lived in poverty – below $20,444 for a two-parent family with 2 children.

• Forty-four percent of South Carolina children in 2006 lived in families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Robert Dobbs for Congress, SC-01

Originally posted to rdobbs2010 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 01:01 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republicans Believe in Pushing Tax Burden on the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstatemike, jfromga

    poor and giving tax breaks to the rich so the wealth can "trickle down".  "Fair Tax" is what GREEDY, Selfish Republicans call it, and their phony "Christian Family Values" is justification for it.   That's the admitted scam Ronald Reagan promoted, and Republicans won't let it go.  It's killing California and all of the other states that have the wealthiest citizens giving themselves tax breaks (like Howard Jarvis' Prop. 13 property tax elimination) with the help of influence-peddling, bribe-taking legislators.

    The wealthy have to be taxed, and they have to be taxed at rates higher than the middle and poor classes.  That's FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY!  It's also common sense and the morally decent thing to do, and that's why Republicans are so dead-set against progressive taxation--it forces the rich to pay their fair share.  

  •  In Lycoming County, Pa., Land is Assessed on a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    entlord1, jfromga

    PER LOT rather than a Per Acre basis so the largest, most exclusive residential land parcels are the least valuable for taxation purposes (like Dr. Charles Lamade's Ravine Road 10.44 acres assessed at $1010.00 = $96.74/acre, with a new $330,000.00 brick home with 3 vehicle garage on it) compared to the smallest, most blighted, high-crime ghetto residential land parcels which are the most valuable for taxation purposes (like the properties at 325 and 327 Locust Street that are .02 acre assessed at $12,000.00 each = $600,000.00/acre, with houses valued at about the same as the land parcel value of $12,000.  Racism is part of this massive fraud on the public.
    The Republican politicians who are responsible for this corruption naturally benefitted financially from this scam, and so did "judges" (federal and state) and other rich and politically-privileged individuals.

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      Help, I'm sorry I only know where to look up stats for my own state/hometown. Where do those figures come from?

      •  look for official government sites (0+ / 0-)

        for counties in areas that you are interested in.  Many but not all counties have thier tax assessment records on line.

      •  County Assessment Available at Prothonotary's (0+ / 0-)

        office on their real estate computer at the Lycoming County courthouse, 48 West 3rd Street, Williamsport, Pa. 17701.

        I also have my extensive, comprehensive (NOT statistical) analysis of the 2004 Lycoming County "FAIR MARKET VALUE" Property Reassessment, complete with the county's own reassessment records, on file with the corrupt Pennsylvania kangaroo kourts in numerous civil cases I filed over it (Lycoming County "court", Pa. Supreme kourt, U.S. District "court"--MDPa, U.S. 3rd Circuit "court" of Appeals).
        It's 3rd grade arithmetic calculating property values ($/acre), but the local illiteracy problem allowed the county to hoodwink the poorer citizens into subsidizing property taxes for he wealthiest here.  

    •  What does racism have to... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tnproud2b

      do with property tax in Lycoming County, PA? The county is about 94% white.

      •  The "Browntown" section of Williamsport is where (0+ / 0-)

        the most valuable land parcels for the purpose of taxation are located.  It's predominately black and poor; that's why it's called "Browntown".  
        The Vallamont and Grampian Hills sections of Williamsport are where the least valuable land parcels for the purpose of taxation are located.  It's exclusively rich, white, and Republican (The county is predominately Republican.), and that's where the county commissioners, federal and state "judges", and wealthy businesspeople live.  This belies common sense.  
        Why are small land parcels where there are more empty crack vials and shell casings than blades of grass on which rundown, blighted houses are crowded immediately next to each other exponentially more valuable than the manicured expansive lawns where huge mansions are located just blocks away?!  (An element of RACISM.).

        Overtaxing the poor, who coincidentally have a tendency to be black and extremely unwelcome by the ultraconservative locals (Teabaggers and religious extremists are extremely plentiful here.), seems to be a local ethnic cleansing technique.  Making life unaffordable by pushing up rental prices making housing less available to them (Landlords pass on tax increases to tenants in the form of higher rents.) is what is partially fueling the corrruption behind the rigged assessment.  

        The region has used a code word for decades to refer to inner-city poor folks from Philadelphia, Newark, NYC, etc. who relocate here (many for court-ordered drug treatment who relapse and rob convenience stores out of business to support their drug habits) to the dismay of locals.  "Influx" is the code word for new arrivals of color from the major cities.

        When the "influx" problem started , the locals wanted the cops to go to the Williamsport bus station and prevent "influx" from getting off of the buses instructing them to go back from where they came.  Not very American, but it's OK with Republicans here.

        The county Democratic Party has been hurting since the Republicans used the "influx" problem and the resulting crime wave accompanying it (Drug-related murders, gang violence, drive-by shootings, home invasions, prostitution epidemic, convenience store robbery plague, etc.) to slander and defame the Democratic Party and keep them out of elected office despite winning a court judgment against the Republicans behind the defamatory lies.

  •  I know things aren't going great in SC or any (0+ / 0-)

    of the Right-to-Work states, but you sight no sources here.

  •  Worth It? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstatemike

    Is South Carolina worth saving?

    I recently vacationed there and left feeling a bit soiled by the atmosphere created by so many redneck, republican racists.

  •  do a county by county analysis (0+ / 0-)

    of per capita income and the school system. In some of the smallest counties there are 3 school districts each independent of the other while the largest counties have one district. (better to keep the schools color coded)
    Race is the basis of so many decisions in the state that I despair of the Legislature ever reaching any rational decision

    •  Multiple school districts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga

      ...don't keep the schools color-coded.  Smaller counties don't have sufficient housing segregation to do this.  What keeps schools segregated in smaller counties is that the whites go to Christian "academies", the blacks go to public school, and in many cases whites control the school board.

      Multiple school districts in a county tend to keep the schools class-coded.

      And even in the unitary school districts, where there is significant housing segregation, parent opposition to busing and "exclusive" neighborhoods keeps schools segregated.  And in the larger cities, there are a range of Christian and private schools available for the affluent.

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:16:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  should have been more specific (0+ / 0-)

        smaller counties cut into 3 districts, with predominately white districts on either side of predominately Black district with private academies and Christian academies located in this district. This allows a 3 tier system, both racial and class based so the 2 exterior districts are for whites who cannot afford private academies and the majority Black district ensuring that its students do not adversely affect the performance of the other 2 districts on paper.
        Have to remember that in SC there is still a perceived need by some folks for a 2 race public school system  

  •  South Carolina and taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miniaussiefan

    South Carolina used to use local (not state) property taxes to fund schools, with state aid provided by a state income tax, a state sales tax, and an inventory tax on businesses.

    One of the things that has happened as South Carolina has attracted a more diversified manufacturing base is the tax breaks that new businesses have gotten and the cash and inkind payments made to encourage businesses to relocate in the state.

    It is time that these beneficiaries -- Michelin, BMW, Honda,  and all the others -- to start paying their fair share of taxes for the educated workforce they claim they want.

    It is also time for South Carolina to create a highly progressive income tax so as to provide tax relief for ordinary workers.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:09:11 AM PST

    •  It is also time (0+ / 0-)

      for SC to correct the insane tax scheme on auto purchases. From the DMV:

      Sales tax totaling 5% of the vehicle purchase price ($300.00 maximum) must be paid when you register a newly purchased vehicle in South Carolina. ..

      So the person who buys a new BMW is taxed at the same rate as a person who buys a new KIA. Makes.no.sense.

      Don't believe everything you think.

      by Miniaussiefan on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:10:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It does make a lot of sense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jfromga

        What do you think legislators drive?  Especially in a state the produces BMWs.

        Yes, it's time to stop the reliance on regressive sales taxes.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:23:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Restructured how? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstatemike

    Good explanation of what's wrong, but please flesh out your proposed solution.

  •  Post and run? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstatemike

    Would like to recommend but diary is overly vague and the candidates seems to have posted and left without responding to comments.

    Going to have to do better to get my enthusiastic support.

    •  The proposal are there... (0+ / 0-)

      The income taxes have to become more progressive so that the middle class aren't bearing the burden of the income tax and those earning in excess of $390,000 pay the least of all levels.

      Property taxes as well.  It is a known fact due to caps that high end properties get a significant tax break.  It is just like someone with the BMW paying the same tax as the KIA.  Makes no sense and attacks the middle class again.

      Also the cigarette tax is the lowest in the nation and South Carolina gets a failing grade for smoking reduction.  Put a $1.00 additional tax on a pack of cigarettes, review this tax each year for possible increase.  Use the additional funds to help fund the States health care programs, which taxpayers have to pay for those who smoke and can't afford health care.

      Quit relying on the sales tax to fund state revenues.  When the economy went into the toilet, so did the revenue from sales taxes.

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