Funding roads without new taxes (presenting another option)

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Earlier this year, and again next week during the budget debate, I am offering a solution to our crumbling roads and infrastructure needs.

Simply put one of my bills I pre-filed in December – and the budget proviso I will offer next week – says “once the SC House of Representatives approves our budget; any “extra revenue” must go to roads”. That’s no new taxes; yet more money for what many agree is a critical problem in South Carolina: fixing our roads.

Weeks ago, I joined several House members to again prioritize funding for our roads – without raising taxes. That bill designated revenue from the sales tax on cars to go towards highway funding instead of the General Fund. Again, without raising taxes.

Last week I filed the “Marketplace and Infrastructure Fairness Act” which, like the other proposals I’ve introduced or supported, “fixes our roads” without raising taxes.

I’ve been joined by more than 30 House Members from throughout our state. Republicans and Democrats alike. I’d appreciate your thoughts. If you feel fixing our roads without raising taxes can and should be done before considering raising taxes, I hope you’ll contact your elected officials and let them know to support these efforts.

From WSPA.COM

COLUMBIA, SC — A bill just filed in the South Carolina House would use all the money collected from online sales taxes for roads and bridges in the state. But first, the U.S. Congress would have to pass a law to require all online retailers to collect the sales tax from their customers.

Right now, an online retailer that has a physical presence in South Carolina, like a brick-and-mortar store, has to collect the sales tax. So if you go to walmart.com to buy something, the website will add the sales tax, since Wal-Mart has store locations in the state.

But if you buy something from an online retailer that doesn’t have a location here, it won’t charge sales tax. You’re supposed to keep track of it and pay it on your state income tax return as a “use tax”.

But the federal government is considering a bill called the “Marketplace Fairness Act”, which would give the states authority to require all online retailers to collect the sales tax at the time of the transaction, regardless of where the online retailer is located.

Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Irmo, introduced a bill Thursday in the state House that would send all the money that would be collected from that additional sales tax to roads and bridges in the state.

In a news release, Rep. Ballentine said, “Momentum appears to be building in the US Capitol to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act. Our bill directs any funds sent back to South Carolina as a result of this new federal legislation specifically to our State’s infrastructure needs. South Carolina’s commerce depends on healthy businesses and roads and, if and when this federal bill passes, we will be ready.”

He says a conservative estimate of how much money his bill would bring in, if the federal bill becomes law, is $70 million a year.