Senator Timmons on the Conference Committee results

Senator William Timmons shares results of Gas Tax Conference committee:

From his Facebook page:

This is a summary of the conference committee’s proposal on the roads bill. It is highly preferable relative to the Senate bill, but it still leaves much to be desired. The reform is nearing adequate. Weigh in with your thoughts!

Transportation Accounts
• Created Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund (IMTF) to be used exclusively for repairs, maintenance and improvements to existing transportation system.
• ACT 98 of 2013 language directing SCDOT to send $50 M to the Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) is repealed.

Motor Fuel User Fee – $490 M in YEAR 10
• Permanently increases the motor fuel user fee by 2¢ per gallon over six (6) years and credits all funds generated by the increase to the IMTF at SCDOT.
• Repeals the section subjecting motor fuel stored in tankards at the time of the increase to the increase.
• Deletes the transmission of ten (10%) percent of the .25¢ per gallon inspection fee to the Department of Agriculture via the Department of Revenue, effectively crediting all of the proceeds of the fee to the NFAHF.

Motor Vehicle Registration – $31.7 M in YEAR 10
• Increases biennial motor vehicle registration fees for passenger vehicles and property-carrying vehicles with gross weight of 6,000 lbs. or less by $16 and credits to the IMTF.

Alternative/Hybrid Vehicles – $2.6 M in YEAR 10
• Imposes a $60.00/$120.00 biennial road user fee on Alternative Fuel and Hybrid vehicles, respectively credited to the IMTF.

CTCs – $40 M additional allocation to current $75 M level in YEAR 5 onward
• Increases the C-Fund allocation to 3.99¢ over a four (4) year period starting in 2018 at .3325¢ per year for use on the state highway system.
• Increases the “donor bonus” for donor counties to $17 M (with an additional $3.5 M for a total of
$20.5 M) to make donor counties whole.

Sales Tax on Motor Vehicles (included in “maintenance fee” figures)
• Increases cap to $500.00 with 5% retained. Directs the Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) to collect revenues resulting from the sale of vehicles that would be subject to the maintenance fee except for the state in which they are registered and remit to the IMTF.
• After June 30, 2017, maximum tax imposed only applies to vehicles not subject to the infrastructure maintenance fee.

Infrastructure Maintenance Fee – $74.4 M (in-state), $22.7 M (out-of-state) in YEAR 10
• Increases cap for fee to $500.00 or 5% for in-state and $250.00 for out-of-state motorists.
• Deposits the maintenance fee imposed on out-of-state drivers into the newly created Safety Maintenance Account.
• Active duty members of the Armed Forces are exempt from the out-of-state provision.
• Vehicles transferred to immediate family members, heirs, in the formation of a partnership/corporation, for the purpose of resale by a dealer or financial institution, as the result of repossession and etc. are excluded from the fee.
• SCDOT is to use the fee for the resurfacing program as well as for projects financed through the SCTIB mirroring ACT 275 of 2016 language, which this replaces.
• Education Improvement Act (EIA) is held harmless.
Motor Carriers – $10.6 M in YEAR 10
• Large commercial motor vehicles subject to “road use fee” are exempt from property taxes.
• 75% of the revenues from the road use fee and the one-time fee must be distributed based on the ratio of federal and state highway miles within the county to total federal and state highway miles in all counties (12-37-2870) on the last day of the month following the month when the fee was paid. The remaining 25% is to be deposited into the IMTF for expansion and improvements to existing mainline interstates.

Reform
SCDOT Commission
• The seven (7) Commissioners serving from Congressional Districts are appointed by the Governor and submitted to the House and Senate to be reviewed and sent to the legislative delegation for approval with a majority, weighted vote by the delegation.
o The Commissioners referred to the Senate are subject to Senate rules and will be transmitted through the Senate Transportation Committee for screening.
o The legislative delegation is defined as any legislators representing a portion of the district.
o (no more than two (2) consecutive terms of four (4) years with a lifetime maximum of twelve (12) years serving).
o Increases the number of at-large appointments to two (2) with advice and consent of the General Assembly by a separate vote in both bodies.
o The at-large Commissioners must be transmitted through the Senate Transportation Committee for confirmation hearings before being referred to the full Senate for final confirmation
o Removes legislative approval of the removal of a Commissioner by the Governor.
o Commissioners may not have any interest (direct or indirect) in contracts awarded during their tenure (or one (1) year after term end).
• Commission is removed from the day-to-day operations of the department; requires the Commission to hold at least six (6) meetings annually with one (1) week notice; and the publishing of reports online (including audits).
• Directs the SCDOT to prepare a Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) that addresses funding and safety measures for rural roads.

Tax Relief for Individuals and Businesses
Tax Rebates and Relief for Individuals and Families
• Institutes a refundable credit against the resident’s actual motor fuel user fee incurred as a result of 2¢ per year increase or the amount spent on preventative maintenance, whichever is less. (100% versus the 150% in the Senate version; the House had no tax relief.)
• Sets guidelines for the maximum credit for all residents each year: $40 M (2018); $65 M (2019); $85 M (2020); $110 M (2021); $114 M (2022). (option to be reauthorized by the General Assembly in 2023.)
• SCDOT is to transfer the amount required above to the Department of Revenue (SCDOR) for the Safety Maintenance Account to offset the credit. SCDOT is to transfer funds derived from the maintenance fee imposed on out-of-state drivers first. Credits not claimed are reverted back to SCDOT.
• Institutes (after tax year 2017) a non-refundable individual income tax credit 125% of federal EITC to be phased-in through six equal installments of .2083 of a percent. (250% in the Senate version.)
• Increases the current income limit for the two-wage earner credit to $50,000.00 (from $30,000.00) phased in through six equal installments of $3,333.00 starting with tax year 2018. As result, maximum credit increases from $210.00 to $350.00.
• Increases the current refundable income tax credit for tuition at both four (4) and two (2) year institutions to 50%, not to exceed $1,500.00 at a cap of $40 M in 2018 and every year after that plus a cumulative amount equal to the percentage increase in the Higher Education Price index capped at 3% (credits reduced proportionally if maximum amount claimed is exceeded). (removed Senate language regarding STEM and EITC additional credit.)

Tax Relief for Manufacturing Property
• Beginning tax years after 2017, phases-in over six (6) years a reduction in the property tax assessment ratio from 10.5% to an effective 9% (capped at $85 M). (8.5% in the Senate version; the House had no tax relief.)

By |May 8th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Ready to call your legislators about their vote to funnel YOUR tax dollars to the corrupt SCDOT?

For the past week I’ve been detailing some situations dealing with corruption and cronyism at the SCDOT and the State Infrastructure Bank – SO EGREGIOUS that it made me wonder whether Scott Talley, Rita Allison, Eddie Tallon, Mike Forrester, and Derham Cole of our Spartanburg Delegate even KNEW about these thing when they all voted YES to raise your gas tax, and funnel millions more tax dollars to these corrupt organizations.  And to Hugh Leatherman of course.

The House and Senate currently have this bill in conference committee, which means that all of our Spartanburg Delegation will have another vote on it.  Yes or no.  With no reform to the items I posted.   If you would like to review the posts they are here:

one

two

three

four

five

The Spartanburg Delegation contact info is online on the Spartanburg County website.  So Monday would be a VERY GOOD DAY to refresh your memory of our recent posts,  and then CALL your representatives in Spartanburg and ask them about the corruption, the cronysim and their recent YES vote.  And ask them if they are still planning to vote yes, knowing what they know now after you inform them. Despite anything they may read to you off their talking point list, NONE of the situations outlined above even come close to being fixed with any bill currently in Columbia.  Click that link and please also call Senator Shane Martin, and Reps. Bill Chumley, Josiah Magnuson, and Steven Long and thank them for their no votes.

Scott Talley

(864) 590-7151

ScottTalley@scsenate.gov

Derham Cole, Jr

(864) 591-1113

DerhamCole@schouse.gov

Eddie Tallon

(864) 529-2860

eddietallon@schouse.gov

Mike Forrester

(864) 978-0149

MikeForrester@schouse.org

Rita Allison

(864) 909- 1092

RitaAllison@schouse.gov

 

 

By |May 7th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

House votes to repeal Congress exemption from Obamacare

This is what Jeff Duncan was talking about…

From Martha McSally’s webpage:

The House of Representatives today unanimously passed U.S. Representative Martha McSally’s legislation to prevent Members of Congress and their staff from being exempt from the State waiver provisions of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as amended.

“Any law we pass that applies to our constituents must apply equally to Members of Congress as well. Anything short of that is hypocrisy. Congress must abide by the laws it passes and should be treated no differently than other hardworking Americans,” said Rep. McSally. “My measure eliminates double standards by preventing Members of Congress from exempting themselves from American Health Care Act.”

Due to Senate procedural rules within the Budget Reconciliation process, the MacArthur Amendment to the American Health Care Act would exempt Members of Congress and their staff. Rep. McSally’s legislation, H.R. 2192, is a standalone two-page bill that would repeal this exemption for Members of Congress should the American Health Care Act become law. The measure passed the House by a vote of 429-0.

To read the full bill text CLICK HERE.

By |May 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Jeff Duncan talks about the Congressional “exemption” from Obamacare

Jeff is really the best communicator in Congress.

From his FB page:

Continuing to help correct the record about the American Health Care Act that passed yesterday that rolled back significant portions of ObamaCare. The amount of outright false information that has been pushed out about this bill is incredible. I plan to make posts on the ObamaCare repeal aspects of the bill and clear up misconceptions about the MacArthur amendment in later posts, but for now I want to address some of the misinformation that the legislation exempts members of Congress from the bill.

Bottom line, Members of Congress are NOT exempt from the ACHA. The House passed a stand alone bill yesterday around the same time as the ACHA that eliminated any exemptions for Congress. That bill passed unanimously.

Here’s the background: Democrats have been unwilling to acknowledge the message that the American people have repeatedly sent since 2010 that they want to see ObamaCare repealed. As a result, Democrats have been unwilling to cooperate with the repeal of ObamaCare, forcing Congress to use a process called reconciliation to get around Democratic filibusters. Reconciliation is a process that has many rules and restrictions. First reconciliation instructions must be included in a budget that passes out of the House and the Senate. Those instructions must include the topics that will be addressed during reconciliation, and the respective committees of jurisdiction on those topics.

ObamaCare deals with taxes, government spending, and healthcare so the committees of jurisdiction that were listed on the reconciliation instructions were the Energy & Commerce Committee (healthcare), Ways & Means (taxes), and Budget (spending).

During the debate, conservatives started pushing for changes to essential health benefits. This is the provision of ObamaCare that President Obama got in trouble for lying about by saying “if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it.” It’s the provision in the law that specifies what type of healthcare plans are allowed to be sold. It’s also the provision that requires a 21 year old single male and a 60 year old woman to have maternity coverage on their insurance plan.

After a lot of negotiating, the White House and House leadership agreed to an amendment that addressed essential health benefits. There was only one problem. In the original ObamaCare bill, Republicans forced a change to the healthcare bill that required that Members of Congress and their staffs receive their insurance through the ObamaCare exchange. However, any bill that impacts Congress has to go through the Committee on House Administration, which was not listed in the reconciliation instructions. Therefore, the amendment addressing essential health benefits had to purposefully exclude members of Congress from the bill in order for it to advance. However, there was universal recognition that exempting Congress from the provisions was a bad idea, so immediately a stand alone bill that was introduced that would remove any exemptions for Congress. That bill was brought up at the same time as the AHCA and passed unanimously.

Had conservatives been consulted more in the initial drafting of the bill and with the reconciliation instructions, we could have avoided this situation. Hopefully this will be a lesson on the importance of soliciting feedback from conservatives early and often.

By |May 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Register to hang out with TX Congressman Will Hurd in Spartanburg!

How cool is Congressman Will Hurd?

Check out what he did for a campaign fundraiser!

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, who is in his first term, is using his skills as a former C.I.A. agent to boost his re-election bid. His campaign is hosting a fundraiser on Nov. 20 called “Crash and Bang: Tactical and Offensive Driving with Rep. Will Hurd.” “Have you ever wanted to learn how to make a turn at high speeds? Do you want to learn how to do a J-turn like you see in the movies? Do you know how to disable a car that is chasing you?”

Hurd was at the CIA for nearly 10 years, working as an undercover agent in the Middle East and South Asia “collecting intelligence,” according to his congressional website. He told The Washington Post  his role was “to recruit spies and steal secrets.”

Please join the Spartanburg GOP for an event with Will Hurd on Thursday May 25 – 6:30 PM at Village Greens Golf Club.

CLICK HERE to register and purchase tickets.  You do not have to be a married couple to get the $60 price, just sign up with a friend (you will have to pay as one, so work that out).

 

By |May 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

HOW MUCH MONEY is bonded debt in SC’s State Infrastructure Bank?

I wonder if Scott Talley and the Spartanburg Four (Eddie Tallon, Rita Allison, Mike Forrester, and Derham Cole) have access to this information, and still thought it was a good idea to vote YES for a gas tax increase, sending millions of dollars to the corrupt SCDOT and the State Infrastructure Bank.

You may have heard one or more of them tell you “it’s a fee not a tax.”  A) as if that makes any difference to your personal wallet but B) a tax is bad enough, but a tax cannot be transferred to the State Infrastructure Bank – whereas a fee can be!  And the so-called “reforms” Talley et al may be touting to the SCDOT do not have any impact on the corrupt State Infrastructure Bank.  So any tax increase can be funneled directly to Hugh Leatherman and his cronies through the SIB.

 

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By |May 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

GSP Republican Women meeting Monday May 8 with Hope Blackley!

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By |May 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

$$$ funneled directly to SCDOT Chair’s company – did Scott Talley know this when he voted?

Senator Scott Talley voted to raise the gas tax on SC taxpayers without insisting on the reforms needed to keep Hugh Leatherman, his cronies and his family from profiting obscenely from the cronyism of the crooked and inept SCDOT and the slush fund of the State Infrastructure Bank.   Rita Allison, Mike Forrester, Eddie Tallon, and Derham Cole similarly voted for the House bill which raised your taxes without addressing the corruption and cronyism.  Do these legislators believe these are Spartanburg’s values?  Take a look …

Mike Wooten and the Economics of Influence at SCDOT

South Carolina Department of Transportation commissioners wield a lot of influence; chairmen especially so.

They governs the group that governs the DOT.

From the DOT’s website:

“The Department of Transportation is governed by the South Carolina Transportation Commission, which is comprised of eight members, seven of whom are elected by the legislative delegations of each of the state’s Transportation Districts.”

Current chairman Mike Wooten represents the Seventh Congressional District, whose state legislative delegation numbers 24 House and Senate members. It is to those legislators alone that he is accountable, though they cannot remove him from his four-year term. The governor used to be able to, but that executive power was removed by the legislature in 2010.

Mike Wooten.

Mike Wooten.

His influence, however, is enormous as it extends not just to all DOT staff but to engineers, contractors and construction and paving firms of every size and state and local governments in every part of the state.

Personally, Wooten is a civil engineer and founder and president of DDC Engineers, which has millions of dollars in contracts with the same local government agencies who receive funding from and rely on good relationships with the DOT. In one case The Nerve exclusively documented, his firm was a subcontractor on a deal in which DOT acted as a pass-through for hundreds of thousands of dollars in FHWA funding, meaning his firm was in line to receive money with DOT connections.

Is a sitting state senator unable to access this type of information?  Because I didn’t find it difficult to delve into some of the more egregious and unethical situations of corruption and cronyism.  And there’s more to be told …

Does Scott Talley think this is how Spartanburg constituents believe our state business should be run, and that there are the values of Spartanburg folks?

Note: Scott Talley, along with Rita Allison, Mike Forrester, Eddie Tallon, and Derham Cole will likely get to vote on this bill again as it will probably go to conference.  Find their contact info at sc.statehouse.gov and call them to chat about Spartanburg values.

By |May 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Josh Putnam to run for S.C. secretary of state

From the Independent Mail.com:

State Rep. Joshua Putnam is planning to run next year for South Carolina secretary of state.

Putnam said Tuesday that he plans to formally announce his candidacy next week.The 28-year-old Republican from Piedmont has served in the state House of Representatives since 2011.

“This is something that we have been considering for the past two years,” Putnam said.

Mark Hammond, 53, who was elected as South Carolina’s 41st secretary of state in 2002, said Tuesday that he plans to seek a fifth term. He and Putnam will meet in the June 2018 GOP primary.

The secretary of state’s office handles an array of business filings. It also oversees charities and raffles in South Carolina.

Putnam said he believes that “the time has come for new leadership” in the office.

“Even the best people can get stagnant,” he said. “I think the secretary of state is an underutilized office with a great amount of potential.”

If elected, he said he would serve as an advocate for the state’s business community and also work to increase the visibility of the secretary of state’s office.

“I want everyone in the state to know how the office can serve them,” he said.

Click the link above for more…

By |May 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Shane Martin on S.449 (constitutional carry)

From Senator Shane Martin on Facebook:

Thanks to subcommittee chairman Sen. Gerald Malloy for helping move S.449 (Constitutional Carry) out of subcommittee and onto the full Judiciary Committee!! John Lane did a great job testifying!

Voting Yes: Sen. Malloy, Sen. Rice, and Sen. Goldfinch. Voting NO: Sen. Senn
Not voting (absent): Sen. Fanning
House Bill couldn’t be substituted. Great news for our rights!!

By |May 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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