Difference between House and Senate Tax Bills in 1 chart

The Daily Signal gives us this handy chart, along with a Heritage recommendation for each item.

The House has now passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Senate is still working on the final details of its reform package. The Senate plan improves on the House bill in many places and misses important opportunities elsewhere. Here are the differences you need to know about.

Click the link above to view.

By |November 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Spartanburg County Council Agendas/Meetings

For about 6 years we’ve regularly been providing agenda items for upcoming County Council meetings  here at our website.  I heard from folks recently that they:

Didn’t know when council met

Didn’t know that council meetings were livestreamed and videotaped

Didn’t know they could get the agenda ahead of time

Didn’t know the agenda and supporting document were available on county website

If you visit the Spartanburg County website here … you can find agendas of past and current meetings.  This includes committee meetings and any budget or planning workshops. All open to the public, all videotaped for convenience.

If you would like to receive notice of all council meetings, special meetings, and workshops send an email request to be put on the email list to:

dziegler@spartanburgcounty.org

We have one of the most transparent councils in the state.

By |November 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Local Government Fund – what’s next? Meeting Tuesday November 28, 7 PM – The Clock

We have put into motion some plans toward convincing legislators to fully fund the Local Government Fund in the 2018 budget.  We have a lot of work to do!  In response to the press conference last week, the Chairman of Ways and Means, Brian White (R) of Anderson said:

“I welcome the lawsuit. Please sue us. That way we get clarity.”

Seriously…..this is our State Government, talking to the People of Spartanburg County… “Please sue us.”

Please join the Spartanburg Tea Party for a meeting on Tuesday, November 28 at 7:00 PM at The Clock on Reidville Road. We will have a few of our councilmen there, we’ll report on what’s happened, what we’ll be doing over the winter, and some activism that everyone can participate in! (If you would like to arrive a little early there will be a group of us gathering to eat before the meeting begins.)

We also want to hear from you – what can we be doing that we haven’t thought of? Who do YOU have connections with that you are willing to reach out to and advocate to?  How do we reach 45 other counties, county councils, county GOP organizations and stakeholders?  Here’s the deal – bring a solution that YOU are willing and able to take the lead on!

See you on November 28!

By |November 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

What are the mandated services the Local Government Fund is required for?

The Local Government Fund is set up by South Carolina law so that when your legislators in Columbia collect taxes from  your county … and then mandate government services be provided by local government for your county … 4.5% of the taxes collected from taxpayers in your county are returned to pay for the services mandated.

So what are those services?  Here’s a list.  So when you have a conversation with  your legislator about fully funding the Local Government Fund in the 2018 state budget, these are the services that you are being taxed twice for:

Animal Shelter

Libraries

Assessors (Equipment/Software)

Magistrates

Building Codes

Master‐in‐Equity

Circuit Court

Medically Indigent Assistance Program

Clerk of Court

Probate Court

Court Security

Public Defender/Indigent Defense

DNA (Preservation/Storage)

Records Management

Elections and Voter Registration

Register of Deeds

Emergency Medical Services

Electronic Data Submission Regulation

Solid Waste (Collection, Disposal and

Recycling)

Jails – Medical Care

Storm water Management

Jails – Housing of State Inmates

Victims’ Services

By |November 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Bill to be filed re: permit carry of guns in SC churches

Alan Clemmons:

CONCEALED WEAPONS IN HOUSES OF WORSHIP?
Early this year, the FBI foiled a planned mass shooting at a Myrtle Beach Synogauge. South Carolina has painfully learned that the sanctity of our places of worship aren’t off limits to psychopaths with a death wish. I recently heard from the representative of a congregation in Charleston that had been considering taking advantage of a state law that authorizes concealed weapon permit (CWP) holders to carry on the premises of a place of worship when approved by its governing body. Without such approval it is illegal for a CWP holder to carry on the premises of their place of worship. The leadership of the congregation decided to put off the decision out of concern for liability that could befall them due to their decision.

I’ve prefiled House Bill 4409, linked below, that removes any such liability in relation to the governing authority of a place of worship making the decision to remove the prohibition against their members exercising their CWP rights.

I’m interested in your thoughts. Do you agree with me that your Pastor, Rabbi, Priest or their governing body should not be held liable for their act to protect their members by authorizing their congregation to exercise their CWP rights at church?

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess122_2017-2018/bills/4409.htm

 Here is the change in the bill (underlined):

SECTION    1.    Section 23-31-215(M)(8) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 123 of 2014, is further amended to read:

“(8)    church or other established religious sanctuary unless express permission is given by the appropriate church official or governing body. Such permission shall not expose the church, religious sanctuary, its officials, or governing body to civil or criminal liability for the act of granting such permission in the event of an incident involving a holder of a permit issued pursuant to this section;”

SECTION    2.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

By |November 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|3 Comments

GSP Women meeting Monday – George Blevins, Director of Veterans Affairs

No automatic alt text available.

By |November 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO!

Well what I learned is … I need to SPEAK UP at these things!  Also, we were originally scheduled to do this on the side of the building where there is no traffic and noise.  The weather brought us inside, but at the last minute, it was decided to move back out front. So please endure the noise.

We will be having a meeting in the next few weeks to answer questions and prepare for some next steps, I’ll share that as soon as the details are confirmed.  We are reaching out to all 46 counties and could use YOUR HELP on our team to connect with and educate your friends, either here in Spartanburg or across the state.  For now, your next step would be to join our info Facebook page here and then ask YOUR FB friends to also join:

https://www.facebook.com/LocalGovFundingSC/

one more thing – the video turns right side up at about the 2 minute mark 🙂

Posted by Josh Kimbrell on Thursday, November 9, 2017

By |November 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Legal Action could be taken re: Local Government Fund

Glad some of the outside Spartanburg media is already picking up on our press conference today! Let me share a point of clarification – right now the pressure is from entities like the Spartanburg GOP the Spartanburg Tea Party and individuals for a political resolution. If legal action must be taken, that will be only individual taxpayers/citizens, not organizations.

From TheState.com:

A local Republican Party is threatening to sue the S.C. Legislature for chronically underfunding local governments, forcing them to raise taxes and fees on their residents.

Counties and cities depend on that money — ranging from $1,000 to $18 million a year — to help pay for services without raising taxes and fees paid by local residents.

But since the Great Recession, the GOP-controlled General Assembly has failed to live up to a 1991 law that says 4.5 percent of the state’s general fund budget must go back to local governments. Instead, the Legislature has been giving local governments only about 3 percent.

Officials with the Spartanburg County Republican Party, the Spartanburg County Tea Party and Spartanburg County Council said Thursday they are prepared to sue the General Assembly unless lawmakers fully fund the local government fund or cut state-mandated services that counties and cities must pay for.

“Columbia is beginning to sound more and more like Washington, forcing unfunded mandates onto local governments which have had to turn to increases in local taxes to make up for the unlawfully withheld revenue,” said Josh Kimbrell, chairman of the Spartanburg GOP.

Under the 4.5 percent formula, counties should receive $58 a person from the state. Now, they get about $40.

Municipalities should be getting $33 a person but only are getting about $20.

“We’re starting this fight in Spartanburg County, but this is for all 46 counties,” Kimbrell said.

State funding of the local government fund is debated annually by legislators, including some who say the time has come to abolish it.

 

By |November 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Annual Vaccine Awareness Week

This is a subject that more and more people I know and/or follow are growing increasingly concerned with.  Please take a look at the information my friend Jennifer Black has put together to share with us.  Jennifer is very motivated to find some avenue for change through our SC legislature, and I know she’s incredibly well informed and has been spent time working on bills on this subject.  Please take a look at the info below and contact Jennifer at schealthcoalition@gmail.com if you would like to know more!

So this week kicked off the 8th Annual Vaccine Awareness Week.  It is geared towards bringing to attention of the cultural war on vaccines regarding informed consent, vaccine injury and the right to choose how you obtain health for both you and your family.

A quick 3 minute video discussing these issues is here: https://www.facebook.com/national.vaccine.information.center/videos/10155567790472931/

For anyone that wants to become more informed on the subject with daily updates for the rest of the week, can go here: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Awareness-Week-(1)/2017-vaccine-awareness-week.aspx

For those interested in keeping up to date with efforts in South Carolina on this subject and individual rights in regard to health: https://www.schealthcoalition.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/SCHealthCoalition/

Our latest project is that we have signed onto a letter, putting Health and Human Services on notice regarding their inability to perform their responsibilities pursuant to 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.  It can be read here: http://www.icandecide.com/white-papers/ICAN-HHS-Notice.pdf

By |November 8th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Press Conference – November 9 – 10AM – Courthouse RE: Local Govt. Fund

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                   CONTACT

November 6 2017                                                       Dave Wilson, 803-665-3361

A news conference will be held Thursday, November 9th at 10am at the Spartanburg County Courthouse (St. John Street side) regarding SC tax allocations and legal options that could impact local government funding.

WHO:          Josh Kimbrell, Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairman

Justin Bradley, Spartanburg County Councilman

Hope Blackley, Spartanburg County Clerk of Court

Karen Martin, Spartanburg County Tea Party Chairman

WHAT:         News conference

WHEN:         Thursday, November 9th at 10 am

WHERE:      Spartanburg County Courthouse (St. John Street side)

WHY:           To discuss SC state tax allocations and legal options that could impact local
government funding

Please Mark Your Calendars and JOIN US!

By |November 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Sheriff Chuck Wright on the Penny Tax – Vote is Tuesday

The following message is from Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright:

“I, like everyone else, do not like taxes. However, if we don’t pass the penny sales tax increase, I have no clue how we will be able to build a much-needed courthouse.

“I will be in prayer that the right thing is done on Tuesday, as I trust the good people of Spartanburg to do what’s right.”

 

By |November 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Local Government Fund, a fight that needs all 46 counties

Lots of Local Government Fund talk this week in Spartanburg.  Welcome to the battle!

Four years ago I spent a couple of weeks sending information to all 46 South Carolina county GOP Chairs/Ex Committeemen and as many of the 46 County Councils and County Administrators that I can find online email contact info for.  I got 3 responses.  Below is what each county council member, council administrator and County GOP Chairman received.  We are about to launch a new effort to fight for this issue – asking legislators to follow the law they wrote.  Stay tuned for more information!

=========

Perhaps you are aware of this issue already and working on it.  I’m sharing what we’re doing in Spartanburg County; hopefully this information will be useful to you in your county.

As you probably know, your county taxpayers are paying twice for services that are legislatively mandated by votes taken on various bills by your delegation in Columbia.  Those same legislators are taking another vote, in a budget proviso, to keep monies your county’s taxpayers have already sent to Columbia that are targeted to be returned to your county to pay for those legislated services.  So then your county taxpayers have to pay AGAIN for those services in your local county budget.

Senator Shane Martin, (R-Spartanburg), tried unsuccessfully to reverse the practice last year.  He was voted down.

Spartanburg is working on this with our Council and Delegation and we invite you to join the fight in your county!  Your taxpayers should be asking YOUR delegation about this, and demanding the return of their Local Government Fund tax dollars.  These legislators should not be voting for a budget that contains a proviso keeping these monies.

At the bottom of this email is the complete video from our public meeting Thursday February 27 with a couple of our Spartanburg County Delegation members and a committee from our County Council.

Here is our first post on that meeting:

http://www.spartanburgteaparty.org/2014/02/28/last-nights-meeting-on-local-government-fund/

Excerpts:

According to Rep. Allison: “Outcry about the reduction of state money going to local government funds has been limited, and several governments have managed the reduction by increasing fees or cutting costs.”

According to Rep. Tallon: “There’s not an appetite on that subcommittee to really do much for local government because they’re not getting the information from your lobbyists and representatives.”

Councilman Britt asked the question we all had in mind “If the law says, and the law clearly does … the law says these monies go back to the county. How do you NOT follow the law?” the answer from Rep. Allison was “We write a proviso”.

Here is the handout from the Feb 27 meeting, which shows expenses Spartanburg County (and your county) are compelled to pay through mandates passed as legislation by our county delegations, and shows the shortfall because the Local Government Funds are kept in Columbia through a vote on a budget proviso.  So that shortfall is to be made up, according to Rep. Allison above, by increasing fees or cutting costs.   For services that taxpayers have already paid for.  Your county’s dollars will differ, of course.

http://www.rogernutt.com/images/pdf/localgovernmentfund.pdf

Here is a short video segment with Councilman Roger Nutt:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zxdlPwXHyI

“We are hearing we have a committee whose default position is to not follow the law. It’s almost like you have to come before the throne and ask for money that we’ve mandated that you spend.”

“I guess the seven of us can start going down to Columbia, but we’re talking tens of millions of dollars that the people of Spartanburg County have paid twice. They paid to y’all to fund it and they paid to us to fund it. And it only gets funded once.”

“I think it’s outrageous. If we have a system where we set the Constitution over here and we have everyone come and beg for money and the one that has the most representation wins, it’s outrageous.”

“I hope that our delegation will commit, like Senator Martin did, to stand up and fight. We’re not going one step further until our county is taken care of. You represent the people right here in this room.”

Here is the complete video of the 50-minute meeting.  If we can provide any additional information for you please contact me via email or call 864.384.7558.

Thanks,

Karen Martin

Precinct Committeeman, Spartanburg County GOP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj545qpfI6U

 

 

By |November 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

39 Articles on Courthouse since 2014 – How could you not know?

I hear from people in discussions on the Courthouse referendum “They are sneaking this in, we weren’t told, it’s unfair.”

Not exactly.  We’ve posted 18 articles here on the situation in the past few years.  Look at the search bar on the right side of this page, type “Courthouse” and voila.

Every council meeting, including budget workshops and presentations is open to public. And livestreamed. And video available after for viewing at convenience.  There has been much discussion about the Courthouse situation since Jan 2014.

And 39 … Thirty Nine articles on the Courthouse situation from the Spartanburg Herald Journal.

If you were unaware … it’s on you.  Well informed voters are a blessing to a community.

 http://www.goupstate.com/news/20171101/study-details-economic-impact-of-new-courthouse

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20171019/spartanburg-county-penny-sales-tax-hike-debated-at-forum

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170726/sales-tax-hike-for-new-courthouse-up-to-voters

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170717/1-cent-sales-tax-hike-moves-closer-to-november-ballot

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170628/mold-found-at-two-spartanburg-county-buildings

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170614/tax-hike-proposal-for-new-facilities-goes-to-county-council

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170522/city-gives-nod-to-joint-government-facility

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170521/public-hearing-scheduled-for-spartanburgs-fy2018-budget

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170509/spartanburg-city-council-gets-30-days-to-decide-on-joint-facility

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170507/city-county-to-consider-shared-complex-at-joint-meeting

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170419/courthouse-offices-affected-by-mold-to-remain-in-temporary-locations

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170417/joint-city-county-facility-gains-support

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170417/mold-continues-to-disrupt-spartanburg-county-courthouse

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170414/mold-again-forces-closure-of-some-spartanburg-courthouse-offices

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170410/cost-of-new-courthouse-city-county-complex-216m

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170404/study-will-present-cost-of-new-joint-city-county-facility

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170220/study-looks-at-cost-of-new-spartanburg-county-courthouse

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20161031/osha-report-mold-found-in-two-spartanburg-courtrooms

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20161002/spartanburg-county-reports-45-mold-related-workers-comp-claims

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160929/courthouse-to-fully-reopen-by-monday

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160908/city-county-officials-open-to-idea-of-joint-complex

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160907/mold-removal-work-at-courthouse-to-continue-through-september

http://www.goupstate.com/opinion/20160904/citycounty-facility-may-be-solution

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160902/most-of-spartanburg-courthouse-to-reopen-next-week

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160902/mold-led-to-new-lexington-courthouse-15-years-ago

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160901/decision-pending-on-whether-full-courthouse-will-reopen-next-week

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160831/britt-1-cent-sales-tax-could-pay-for-new-courthouse

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160830/spartanburg-county-explores-new-courthouse-option

http://www.goupstate.com/photogallery/NC/20160829/PHOTOGALLERY/829009987/PH/1

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160829/mold-forces-solicitors-office-out-of-courthouse

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160826/spartanburg-county-family-court-area-to-stay-closed-next-week

http://www.goupstate.com/videos/7B6D3714-F9E7-4AEE-9709-D68CABBFA5A7/Workers-close-off-the-family-courtroom-area-of-the-Spartanburg-County-Courthouse-Friday,-which-was-ordered-closed-by-Clerk-of-Court-Hope-Blackley-after-the-discovery-of-more-than-expected-moldBob-Montgomery-bmontgomeryshj8-26-16

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160816/judge-monitoring-courtroom-mold-levels

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160815/county-officials-watching-courthouse-air-quality

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20160717/spartanburg-county-looks-at-long-term-solution-for-courthouse-mold

http://www.goupstate.com/opinion/20140904/condition-of-courthouse-isnt-just-a-county-issue

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20140804/spartanburg-county-lawmakers-hear-of-money-needed-for-roads-and-courthouse

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20140616/spartanburg-county-council-members-want-to-build-a-new-courthouse

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20140130/councilmen-embarrassed-disgusted-by-condition-of-county-facility-after-taking-tour

 

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

Campaign School – on the Road!

On Saturday October 24 there were 32 participants from 6 different counties who attended a 4-hour FREE campaign school in Greenville.  We are ready to take Campaign School on the road!

Are you considering running for office in 2018? Do you want to be a more effective worker on your local campaigns?  If you put together a class of about 15 folks anywhere in South  Carolina, we’ll come teach. Email info@spartanburgteaparty.org  if interested, we’ll put together a plan!  OR … let me know if you are interested in attending, we’ll try to group you in with a class in your area if one is scheduled.  We’re currently looking to schedule in York County, Charleston, and Lexington.

If you would like to learn how to manage campaigns and create a winning campaign strategy, if you are interested in using your talents as a campaign volunter, we’ll provide practical training as well as sharing local examples of winning strategies, and helping you plan for a successful primary campaign.

Class topics include:

01 – Campaign Structure

02 – Skeletons (dealing with things in your past)

03 – Strategy

04 – Raising Money

05 – Creating a Campaign Budget

06 – Campaign Marketing

07 – Social Media

08 – General Consultants (AKA Political Consultants)

09 – Polling

10 – Campaign Speeches

11 – Volunteers

12 – Crashing the Parties (using other events)

13 – Mainstream Media

14 – Stress

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, table and indoor

 

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

The Bill Sandifer version of the Columbia Cesspool

Thanks to TheNerve.org for continuing to expose this corruption!

In a review of state lobbying and campaign expenditure records for the 2010 and 2012 elections, The Nerve found that S.C. Rep. Bill Sandifer, R-Oconee and chairman of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry (LCI) Committee, hired two in-state lobbyists – Jason Puhlasky and Christopher Lindsay – as campaign consultants, paying them a total of $17,453 during the period.

The Nerve’s review also found that several lobbying clients of Puhlasky and Lindsay, as well as political action committees affiliated with their clients, collectively contributed $8,000 to Sandifer’s 2010 and 2012 re-election campaigns.

The Nerve reported in May that Sandifer, a licensed funeral director and embalmer, has sponsored 10 bills since 2002 – eight of which became law – that focused on governing “pre-need” funeral services.

State ethics law allows an elected official to hire a campaign consultant who also is a lobbyist, though the lobbyist-campaign consultant cannot “facilitate a contribution from his lobbying clients to his campaign client,” Cathy Hazelwood, chief lawyer and deputy director at the State Ethics Commission, said last week in a written response to The Nerve.

The Ethics Commission has no authority to investigate or discipline state lawmakers for ethical violations. Instead, legislators police themselves through their respective House and Senate Ethics committees.

Sandifer’s campaign records show that he paid Puhlasky a total of $13,453 for consulting services in 2010 and 2012. Puhlasky’s total lobbying income in 2010 and 2012 was $188,037 and $212,836, respectively; his lobbying income through May 31 of this year was $149,166, records show.

On average, Puhlasky has represented more than a dozen clients yearly since 2009, including Bank of America; PepsiCo; Republic Services of South Carolina, Waste Management of South Carolina; Tanger Factory Outlet Centers; the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; and the South Carolina Beer Wholesalers, Cable Television and Medical associations, lobbying records show.

From 2010 through 2012, four of Puhlasky’s clients and a group with ties to another client, including Waste Management and the Bank of America Corp. Political Action Committee, contributed a total of $6,000 to Sandifer’s re-election campaigns, according to campaign records.

Read more at the link above. Grrrrrrr.

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

Spartanburg’s efforts re: the Local Government Fund

You have heard about the Local Government Fund for years here.  If you want to catch up, type in “Local Government Fund” in the search bar on this webpage on the right and you’ll see article after article, probably close to 30, dating back to 2013.  As part of the discussion re: the Courthouse the Local Government Fund has been talked about quite a bit.

Of all the 46 counties in SC, the Spartanburg Council Council has stood almost alone in fighting and pushing back on Columbia lawmakers’ decision not to follow the law.  For years.  I thought I’d share a few with you … and tell you to STAY TUNED FOR MORE NEWS about the local government fund very soon!

I appreciate that Spartanburg Council has been the only local govt entity that has fighting this local govt fund issue for years. No other county, perhaps no other entities have fought it so publicly and persistently for so long. Councilman Justin Bradley has posted at least 10 articles and editorials and have provided scores of pages of research and data to whoever asked. The Spartanburg Tea Party has posted over 30 articles. In fact Spartanburg County Council has been so far out in front of this, they demanded and got a public hearing with our legislators. Video: http://www.spartanburgteaparty.com/…/full-video-local…/

As a result, our legislative delegation has been the only delegation to pass a resolution and presented to the GA:
http://www.spartanburgteaparty.com/…/eddie-tallons…/

Spartanburg County Council cut seven magistrates in a direct effort to fight the “taxpayer monies as hostage” withholding: http://www.spartanburgteaparty.com/…/spartanburg…/

The SC Association of Local Governments has singled Justin Bradley and his colleagues as having led the way on this fight, without a lot of help from other counties, or taxpayers in those counties:
http://www.spartanburgteaparty.com/…/local-government…/

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

Conversation #2 with a NO voter on Courthouse Referrendum

Um. This one I just didn’t bother to respond to!  It didn’t really seem he wanted a conversation 🙂

The tea party is in support of a new tax?!!! What does TEA stand for?!! This is unbelievable. Another institution hijacked. And this is temporary? Right. When does it expire? Is this in writing as…a written contract with we the people? When has a tax increase EVER expired? If the chamber is in favor, I’m NOT!!! The R & D parties are in favor? Un-freakin believable! Truly disappointing. We just had two new taxes imposed on us: the gas tax and a dist 7 property tax to fund an unnecessary new high school. What about the $25 fee for road maintenance imposed some years back! Are our roads better or WORSE?!! Whose pockets did THAT end up in? FED UP!!!!!!

 

By |November 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Conversation #1 with a “NO” voter on Tuesday’s Courthouse referrendum

This is definitely a lovely conversation, grown up, rationale and respectful between two people on opposite sides of this issue. I support the YES vote on Tuesday.  BTW as you can imagine I’ve chatted with a good many folks this week, most who called to tell me they are voting ‘no’.   80 percent of them, after a chat, told me they had changed their minds. Facts are a wonderful thing!

No Voter:

I am concerned about the 1 cent sales tax increase. First I have heard that this sales tax after 6 years will through some mechanism of government turn into a property tax that would basically last forever.

KAREN:

You have heard wrong, sorry about that, lots of  misinformation.  This is a legal statute, that governs these type of sales taxes, cannot be turned into property taxes, and cannot be extended.  Voters would have to vote again for this to remain a tax past 6 years. So, just incorrect info.  40 other SC counties have this measure, and their history has proven – it cannot be extended or turned into a property tax.

No Voter:

Secondly I am concerned that this is being sold as a temporary sales tax increase but if it’s not passed property taxes will have to be increased and that would be permanent increase also. How do you go from a temporary tax which is suppose to fund the project to a permanent tax. Doesn’t make sense to me, please help me understand.

KAREN:

It is temporary, as mentioned above, state statutes demand it.  Now, you are correct, if it does not pass next Tuesday, Spartanburg County WILL have a property tax increase.  Unlike the penny tax, it will be permanent . Unlike the penny tax, it will not be designated strictly for the Courthouse/buildings, it can be spent at will, there will be no restrictions for purposing. Unless the penny tax, ONLY PROPERTY OWNERS will bear this tax, the penny tax spreads the responsibility among all citizens, and even visitors to our county, an estimated 1/3 of the total monies raised via the penny tax will be from out of county folks doing business in our county – business that often includes using services at our courthouse.

No Voter:

Lastly I hope you can tell me how this is fiscally responsible. If I want to buy a new house or make major improvements to the one I have, I can’t just go ask my employer for more money which is what the government is doing, I have to do it within my means. If that means not going to a movie, not eating out, or not going on vacation that’s what I have to do. Why is government any different than the people they govern?

KAREN:

If you or I want a new house, or need repairs we have options. We can work overtime. We can take a 2nd job, we can change jobs to a better paying one. Local, state, federal govt have only one source of revenue, through taxation.  We decide as a family how to spend our money.  We decide as citizens and voters how elected officials spend our money. Well at least we should, those who are engaged, those who have been attending county council meetings for years, who have worked to fire their own council member through elections if they don’t like the decisions.  But here it is October 2017 and we are where we are with a damaged, unsafe, inadequate for today’s county population courthouse.  We now have two options. A 6 year limited, directed, tax which is spread among all, or a permanent, non directed property tax which only property owners bear the burden for.  I opted to support the more fiscally sound option.

It is perhaps a good study in theoretical politics how we might have intervened as citizens and voters in the past few decades to ensure there was an option C in 2017. But we didn’t. Hopefully this will inspire more folks to be more involved in decisions, more watchful of budgeting and more encouraged to run for office themselves in this teaching moment!

No Voter:

I look forward to hearing from you. One final note, why is the Tea Party for increased taxes. Doesn’t Tea Party mean “Taxed Enough Already”.

KAREN:

I understand those issues you cite, and I have no problem with folks who will vote NO on this.  It is a difficult situation. Sadly those who made these poor design and maintenance decisions in the decades since the 1950s can no longer be held accountable, and most of our current Council are pretty new to serving, elected relatively recently, and, as someone who has been watching and participating in trying to find solutions to this bad hand we’ve been dealt by decision makers of the past, folks newer to council like Roger Nutt and Justin Bradley have truly explored many other options.  Now, folks like David Britt and Jeff Horton, who have been on council for MORE THAN 20 YEARS … well I don’t hold the same view of them.  I hope that voters will take a long look at their service, and hopefully some strong challengers will arise.

As a property owner and taxpayer in Spartanburg, this is really the better of the two options in my  mind, since, if this limited tax does not pass, there will be a property tax increase. It will not be limited, it will only fall on property owners, and it does not have any directive attached – it can be spent on anything. I do not want that to happen.

I will say this about our Spartanburg council, they have made some excellent decisions recently to help make government smaller.  They restricted spending on parks, they withdrew us from Agenda 21 participation, they sunset the hospitality tax. They have balanced our county budget over the past few years without the usual resorting to tax increase. This courthouse situation is an anomaly.  They restructured the jail system, and saved millions of dollars putting it under the direction of Sheriff Chuck Wright, and actually achieved a payback from the funds budgeted for the jail in the first year, that went back into our county’s general fund.  I do not think that overall, there is a county council who has been more careful with taxpayer funds and limiting government in South Carolina in the recent years than Spartanburg County. I attend the budget workshops that are open to the public each year, and I try to attend the monthly council meetings as frequently as I can.

Thanks for listening! It’s not going to be surprising to me that some of my friends and peers are on the other side of this issue than I am.  That’s life among those of us who give these issues serious consideration, and we’ll all be on the same side of the next issue or two, I’m sure.

Karen

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

Spartanburg County GOP Hosts Lt Gov Kevin Bryant November 17

From Spartanburg GOP:

As part of our 2018 Gubernatorial election series, the Spartanburg County GOP is hosting and evening with Lt. Gov. and Gubernatorial candidate Kevin Bryant.

Come join us for an evening with the candidate and fellow Spartanburg Republicans. The event will be held in the main clubhouse at the River Falls Plantation in Duncan. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Fri, November 17, 2017

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Sully’s at River Falls

100 Player Boulevard

Duncan, SC 29334

Click here for Event Brite RSVP, tickets are $15.00. You CAN pay at the door.

 

By |October 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Support for Courthouse 1 cent tax – Editorial

SHJ’s editorial in support of the 6-year, sales tax to replace County buildings/Courthouse:

(Note: if we do not support this limited tax, we WILL get a property tax, which means that only property owners will be taxed for core government services that all Spartanburg residents access. AND the property tax will be permanent, not a limited 6-year, dedicated tax strictly for the Courthouse complex).

VOTE IS NOVEMBER 7.

Spartanburg County voters should approve a 1-cent sales tax to fund a new city-county government and justice center.

The reasons for a yes vote are numerous, but they begin with the necessity of constructing new buildings. The county courthouse, city hall and county administration building are outdated, overcrowded and unsuitable for expansion.

The courthouse, which opened in 1958, has been plagued with mold growth that is unlikely to be fixed permanently. The design of the building allows condensation to form between the inner and outer walls year-round. As long as the county operates the courthouse, it is likely to have to close off portions every few years and undertake expensive work to clean out mold.

This isn’t healthy for the people who work in and visit the courthouse. In the past two years, the county has faced 52 workers’ compensation claims from employees who claimed the building made them sick.

And that’s not the biggest problem with the courthouse.

It is also difficult to secure. It has three entrances, and there is no way to separate possibly combative sides in criminal and legal disputes. An accused criminal and his family may have to wait in the same area as the victim of the crime, witnesses and jurors before the trial. These factors impose an additional burden on the Sheriff’s Office to provide security at the courthouse.

While the county grows, there is no way to effectively expand the courthouse, meaning the county must rent and renovate space in other buildings off-site to house county and state agencies. That’s not only financially inefficient; it makes it hard for residents to find and interact with these offices.

 City Hall faces many of these difficulties. A joint city-county judicial and government complex would solve these problems. It would also give county residents one place to find city, county and many state authorities.

Building a new county-city complex at the site of the current courthouse also would allow the sites of the current county administration building and City Hall to be sold for private development, returning them to the tax rolls.

It will cost almost $217 million to build the necessary complex. The next question is how to pay for it. The referendum would allow the county to raise the money through a 1 percent local sales tax, which would expire after six years. This plan would allow the county to minimize borrowing for the project, saving tens of millions in interest.

By using a sales tax, the county can raise money from people traveling through Spartanburg County. One study showed that as much as a third of the cost of the project will be paid by non-residents of the county.

The alternatives are not good. If the referendum does not pass, the county will have to build a smaller courthouse and house other county and state agencies in separate buildings around town. The city will have to pursue a similar course. It will be an inefficient and costly system that will provide poorer service to residents. And the entire burden of paying for that system will be shouldered by the county’s property owners. Property taxes will be the only option available.

Voting yes on the referendum will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of city and county government. And it will make dealing with those governments and the court system easier and safer for everyone in Spartanburg County.

 

By |October 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Courthouse vote November 7 – 1 cent sales tax

We have watched this situation at the Spartanburg Tea Party from 2014 when Clerk of Court Hope Blackley made a presentation to County Council. We’ve had discussions, we’ve reviewed reports, and we have had speakers at our meetings, giving information and answering questions.

There is a role for taxes in our community, and it is to support core government services.  The services provided by the departments and entities of a courthouse fall into that category:  DSS, foster care, family court, paying tickets, being a juror and more than can be mentioned.

I support the 1 cent sales tax and urge you to vote YES on November 7.  To that end, this morning I participated in a press conference, along with Josh Kimbrell, Chair of the Republican party in Spartanburg and Shelly Roehrs, Chair of the Democratic party in Spartanburg, as well as Allen Smith, President of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce.  You can likely find our news segment tonight on local news stations, including the Fox affiliate.  I’ll post video here tomorrow if I can grab it.

Please take a look at this page on the county website with details of the effort.

Here is further information and data on the effort:

Vote Yes Spartanburg

and for your Facebook folks, here is the Vote Yes FB page.

 

 

By |October 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|3 Comments

IRS admits Tea Party, other conservative groups were targets during Obama era

We all knew.

reported at FoxNews.com:

Jay Sekulow:

It took many years to resolve. But I am delighted to report that we have just obtained a resounding victory in our legal challenge to the IRS’s political targeting of conservative organizations.

In an unprecedented victorious conclusion to our four year-long legal battle against the IRS, the bureaucratic agency has just admitted in federal court that it wrongfully targeted Tea Party and conservative groups during the Obama administration because of their political viewpoints and issued an apology to our clients for doing so. In addition, the IRS is consenting to a court order that would prohibit it from ever engaging in this form of unconstitutional discrimination in the future.

In a proposed Consent Order filed with the Court yesterday, the IRS has apologized for its treatment of our clients — 36 Tea Party and other conservative organizations from 20 states that applied for 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) tax-exempt status with the IRS between 2009 and 2012 — during the tax-exempt determinations process. Crucially, following years of denial by the IRS and blame-shifting by IRS officials, the agency now expressly admits that its treatment of our clients was wrong.

This Consent Order represents a historic victory for our clients and sends the unequivocal message that a government agency’s targeting of conservative organizations, or any organization, on the basis of political viewpoints, will never be tolerated.

This Order will put an end, once and for all, to the abhorrent practices utilized against our clients, as the agreement includes the IRS’s express acknowledgment of – and apology for – its wrongful treatment of our clients. While this agreement is designed to prevent any such practices from occurring again, rest assured that we will remain vigilant to ensure that the IRS does not resort to such tactics in the future.

Read more at the link above.

I’m still angry.

 

By |October 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

SCGOP State Committee Unanimously Calls for Partisan Voter Registration

The beginning of the march to closed primaries.

REMEMBER: Only the legislators can do this, and they are NOT inclined to. Actually quite opposed.

SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY STATE COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY CALLS FOR A PARTISAN VOTER REGISTRATION OPTION ON VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS

At its most recent meeting, the South Carolina Republican Party State Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution calling for a partisan voter registration option on voter registration forms in South Carolina.

The resolution calls on the South Carolina General Assembly to pass legislation that would add appropriate check-boxes to voter registration forms enabling voters to choose to affiliate with a political party if they wish when they register to vote or update their registration.

“Simply put, it’s a freedom of association issue”, said South Carolina Republican Party State Chairman Drew McKissick. “South Carolinians should have the freedom to associate themselves with the political party of their choice when they register to vote.”

“In a day when there is so much apathy about politics and antipathy towards government, political parties need to be able to do a better job connecting with and engaging like-minded individuals in the political process.”

“The proposal of simply adding appropriate check-boxes to the existing voter registration process would greatly increase the ability of like-minded voters and political parties to connect with one-another. Our current voter registration system makes that unduly difficult”, McKissick said.

“We look forward to working with members of the legislature to promote a solution in the upcoming legislative session.”

McKissick has appointed a Partisan Registration Committee of local SCGOP officials and activists to promote the party’s efforts on behalf of the legislation.

###

 

RESOLUTION COPIED BELOW…

A RESOLUTION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF PARTISAN VOTER REGISTRATION
WHEREAS the South Carolina Republican Party is made up of citizens who share common conservative values of limited government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, traditional values and free enterprise; and

WHEREAS identifying like-minded individuals is a fundamental prerequisite of good political organization and long-term political success; and

WHEREAS a partisan registration option on voter registration forms would greatly increase the number of like-minded South Carolinians that the SCGOP would be able to more readily enlist in party organization, fundraising and campaign efforts; and

WHEREAS voters should be afforded the opportunity to freely associate themselves with the political party of their choice, as well as be able to indicate that affiliation when they register to vote or update their registration;

BE IT RESOLVED that the South Carolina Republican Party Executive Committee calls on the South Carolina General Assembly to pass legislation to alter our state’s voter registration forms to include appropriate check-boxes allowing voters to indicate their partisan affiliation when they register to vote, and enabling political parties to pursue encouraging voters to update their voter registration with such an affiliation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the SCGOP’s Partisan Voter Registration Committee should work to coordinate efforts to accomplish this goal by working to encourage county Republican Party organizations, auxiliary groups and conservative grassroots organizations across South Carolina to join together to promote such legislation.

By |October 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Spartanburg GOP Welcomes Kevin Bryant to town November 17

From Spartanburg GOP:

We are looking forward to having SC Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant join us for heavy Hors d’oeuvres at Sully’s at River Falls off Hwy 290 on Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30pm. We will have time to mingle with a short townhall style Q&A session during the program! This is the opening of our 2018 Gubernatorial Forum series for the Spartanburg County Republican Party!! Make plans to join us, registration details are coming soon!

By |October 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant calls for ouster of indicted official

Reported by Independent Mail.com:

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant is calling for the removal of a former state lawmaker who was indicted Wednesday from his position as director of a legislative panel.

Former state Rep. James Harrison was indicted by the statewide grand jury on charges of criminal conspiracy, common law misconduct in office, statutory law misconduct in office and perjury. He was one of five people indicted Wednesday in a growing Statehouse corruption probe.

“As president of the Senate and a member of the Legislative Council, I will be making a motion at the next meeting to dismiss the director,” Bryant said in a text message.

“The cancer in our state is growing, and I will not allow it to fester,” said Bryant, a Republican from Anderson who is running for governor. “We must restore the government back to the people.”

Another gubernatorial candidate, Charleston Republican Catherine Templeton, also commented on Wednesday’s indictments in a series of posts on her Twitter account.

“Today’s news is bad but not surprising: Columbia is corrupt, politicians are self-dealing. It is costing SC too much,” she tweeted.

Templeton, who is making her first run for elected office, said “crooked career politicians” and special interests “are treating our state like their own personal ATM.”

“Conspiracy charges today are just more proof that South Carolina needs a new generation of conservative leadership,” she added.

The others indicted Wednesday include powerful political consultant Richard Quinn Sr., his son, suspended state Rep. Richard Quinn Jr., suspended state Sen. John Courson and former state Rep. Tracy Edge.

The elder Quinn was charged with criminal conspiracy and failing to register as a lobbyist.  His son was charged with criminal conspiracy. Courson was charged with criminal conspiracy and misconduct in office and Edge was charged with criminal conspiracy, misconduct in office and perjury.

Courson and Richard Quinn Jr. are facing other charges from previous indictments.

By |October 18th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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