Several days ago now, Rep. Bakari Sellers responded to our discussion of funding for road construction and maintenance thusly:
.@BradWarthen please take a look at H.5109. A bill I sponsored to dedicate $1b over 10 years to our roads, schools, and tax relief. W/o >tax
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) July 3, 2014
I told him I’d take a look at it. Which I just now did. Here’s the summary of the bill:
TO AMEND SECTION 11-11-220, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE CONTINGENCY RESERVE FUND, SO AS TO REESTABLISH THIS FUND AS THE SPECIAL PURPOSES REVENUE FUND (SPRF), TO PROVIDE THAT THERE MUST BE CREDITED TO SPRF ALL YEAR-END SURPLUS STATE GENERAL FUND REVENUES NOT OTHERWISE REQUIRED TO REPLENISH THE GENERAL RESERVE FUND, REVENUES DERIVED FROM ELIMINATING VARIOUS SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS AND SAVINGS ACHIEVED FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STATE GOVERNMENT RESTRUCTURING, AND TO PROVIDE THAT SPRF REVENUES MUST BE APPROPRIATED OR USED AS REVENUE OFFSETS IN THE ANNUAL GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT WITH ONE-THIRD EACH FOR ROAD MAINTENANCE AND CONSTRUCTION, A STATE INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX CREDIT, AND FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR SCHOOL BASE STUDENT COSTS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, RELATING TO SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO DELETE EXEMPTIONS CURRENTLY ALLOWED FOR TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT SOLD TO TELEVISION AND RADIO STATIONS AND CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEMS, MOTION PICTURE FILM SOLD OR RENTED TO MOVIE THEATERS, SOUTH CAROLINA EDUCATION LOTTERY TICKETS, THE EXEMPT PORTION OF PORTABLE TOILET RENTAL PROCEEDS, AND AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES INSTALLED IN QUALIFIED AMUSEMENT AND THEME PARKS.
You can read the whole bill here.
My immediate reaction is that this is yet another instance of going the long way around to accomplish something, instead of just going ahead an raising our absurdly low gasoline tax, which after all, is intended for this very purpose.
But at least Mr. Sellers will tell you what his plan is. Which is more than some will do…