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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ROAR SC - Have You Heard About It?

Taxes are complicated. ROAR SC seems to be focussing on the many tax exemptions that are on the books. Something last year's legislature commissioned a group to look into and this year's legislature has decided to ignore (although everyone must admit that redrawing districts, as required by law, is an all consuming task).

I'm sure at one time there were good reasons for exemptions - and maybe so for today as well. A local example is the AbitibiBowater mill. They pay no sales tax on the raw materials going in to their product and pay no sales tax on their products because the products are not sold directly to consumers. When they have a major capital project, they ask for and receive a sales tax exemption on the major construction parts.  They have some of the highest paid paper mill employees in the world - but work for a company that has just come out of bankruptcy due to a market which is in steady decline. If they didn't get the $30 million dollar sales tax exemption, how long could they stay in business?  As much as we'd like it to be easy to reduce/eliminate exemptions, none of these issues are.

ROAR SC will have a presentation at South Pointe High School on Monday, April  11, 2011. A short video and introductory letter is below.

Click here to read the ROAR SC presentation on South Carolina's Tax Problem.

Also, Cindi Scoppe, with the State Newspaper has an article in Wednesday's paper about taxes in SC. Click here to view.


Two weeks ago, the S.C. state House of Representatives passed a state budget that offers no real tax relief, while it cuts essential core services. This $5.2 billion budget is 30% less than 5 years ago. Have your tax rates gone down by 30% in the past 5 years?South Carolinians are paying some of the highest tax rates in the country (5th highest Business Property taxes; & 13th highest top-income & sales tax rates)…while this state is “Broke?” We should be asking Where is my tax money going?

Did you know that S.C. actually exempts more in taxes than it collects?
  • We collect $300 in sales taxes on the sale of a used 2006 - $5,000 Hyundai; but we also only collect $300 on a
  • $385,000 Lamborghini ($152 million exemption); &
  • Million dollar Yacht &/or Lear Jet ($6.2 million exemption).
  • We collect taxes on your funeral… literally taxing you into your grave;but we have a tax exemption for criminals to purchase a Bail Bond and get out of jail, tax free!
  • Our state is “Broke…” your tax rates remain high… basic quality of life services are cut… and yet we even have a tax exemption for stuffing deer heads (taxidermy).
 Evidently, S.C. can afford to give billions of dollars of your tax money to special interests through numerous tax exemptions/loopholes! (for additional examples, go

ROAR(Reduce Our Awful tax Rates) is a statewide coalition of citizens, local chambers, community groups… all dedicated to the single issue of reducing our tax rates & improving the quality of life for all South Carolinians through honest, comprehensive tax reform. ROAR has held ~180 events across S.C. over the past year (14 just this month)! Thanks to your efforts spreading the message, we are beginning to change the conversation in Columbia.

Two weeks ago, Governor Haley announced that she would have a comprehensive tax reform proposal by this summer. And last week, a lawsuit was filed against the state, charging that exempting more in sales tax collections ($2.7 billion) than we collect ($2.5 billion) is unconstitutional.

Our grassroots ROAR movement is building momentum for reform! If you would like to learn more… or want information to share with your friends & colleagues, please follow the links below to the ROAR website: . What five things can I do?
  1. Forward this email to 10 friends;
  2. “Friend/Like” us on Facebook;
  3. follow us on Twitter;
  4. forward a short YouTube video clip found on the ROAR website;
  5. encourage everyone to click “Start Roaring,” sign-on & join us!ROAR needs you!

In the next 2 weeks, I will be ROAR’ing with you in Berkeley (March 28); Greenville(March 29); Columbia (March 31); Greer (April 1); Summerville(April 5); Anderson (April 7); andRock Hill/York County(April 11th). I look forward to continuing to work with each of you in your local community… as we continue to take this conversation across South Carolina.


Michael W. Fanning, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 2043
Chester, South Carolina 29706

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