Senate Finance and Transportation Committees Discuss Roads

The Senate Finance Committee discussed the tax tradeoffs as a part of a proposed roads compromise, while the Senate Transportation Committee discussed the structure of the DOT Commission.

  1. This afternoon's meeting followed a discussion in the Senate Transportation Committee earlier today, and a long meeting yesterday.
  2. The first part of the afternoon discussion was on the percentage of out of state drivers who pay the sales tax. The working assumption was about a third. This is important because the more drivers buying gas who are not South Carolina residents, the smaller the burden on South Carolians.
  3. The discussion then moved to the role of special needs tax credits, and how staff calculated some of the numbers embedded in the assumptions. Senator Sheheen asked about South Carolina's industrial taxes. The Policy Council has a general observation on one of these tax changes:
  4. Senator Matthews and Setzler asked staff questions about the role of fee-in-lieu agreements and claw-backs in economic development incentives in the exemptions that the proposed text outlines. Senator Sheheen says that it's bizarre to have this discussion about tax policy in the context of roads. Senator Peeler disagreed.
  5. The conversation picked up Thursday, with Senators continuing to discuss changes to the structure of DOT, specifically the role of the Governor in appointing members of the DOT Commission.
  6. The Transportation Subcommittee, headed up by Senator Campbell from Goose Creek, updated the Committee on Wednesday's deliberations to change the geographic unit that the Transportation Commissioners represent. The state uses Congressional Districts now, and the Subcommittee considered Councils of Government and DOT's Engineering District.
  7. The issues that the Finance and Transportation Committees debated are important. The details of how to raise revenue, and structure the DOT Commission are vital issues to discuss. But our main point with reforming the transportation is to focus on the infrastructure bank. Our South Coast Director Kate Schaefer wrote an op-ed for the Post and Courier to share our message. Check out the piece on our website, and stay tuned for more information from us on this.
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