Thursday, October 24, 2013
HIDE and SEEK ... LOST and FOUND
Lets have a quick fact check. The South Carolina General Assembly passed ACT 391 in 1990 establishing the capability of a revenue-producing vehicle for each county named the LOST (Local Option Sales Tax).
In July of 1991, the residents of Charleston County voted and passed the LOST.
Shortly afterward, the residents of Colleton County voted on and adopted the same.
On May 1, 2009, the voters of Berkeley County approved the LOST.
Since its inception, 31 of the 46 counties in South Carolina have voted on and passed the LOST, and in total, 40 of the 46 counties in South Carolina have voted on and adopted one of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes (SPLOST) for their respective county. In summary, 86 percent of all the counties sin South Carolina have voted for, approved and adopted in some form a LOST. (figures from the SC Dept of Revenue)
Closer to home, the following towns, municipalities and areas are and have been paying the 1% additional sales tax: Goose Creek, Hanahan, Moncks Corner, Lincolnville, North Charleston, Hollywood, Cottageville, Walterboro, Ravenel, Edisto, Mt Pleasant, Charleston, all the beaches, and the outer areas of the town of Summerville that are located in any of our 3 neighboring counties. More specifically, any shopper on Hwy 17-A (North Main Street) going to the Azalea Shopping Center, Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal-Mart, both Northwood’s and The Citadel Mall, The Tanger Outlet Mall, Performing Arts Center, The Coliseum and other shopping hubs are paying the additional 1 percent LOST.
In addition, the local resident and traveler/visitor who enjoys a meal at any of the restaurants from the Atlanta Bread Company to I-26, and who stays at any of the fine hotels/motels off exit 199 are already paying the LOST.
And yes, all prescriptions and food stamps are exempt.
So why does the opposition try to spin this benefit for the property owner into some power greed move by the “rich” and calling it unfair to the poor and less fortunate?
The unfortunate renter? It’s a user fee!! Lets get real!
How many people in our community, who are just ordinary good folks, have a rental property?
How many people do you think are in the military who have been transferred to another port of call or duty station who could not sell their house in the depressed market and had to reluctantly put their home in a rental pool just so they would not lose it?
How many decent people have lost their jobs, or been downsized and are under employed over the past 6 years who unfortunately were forced to move away to secure a better work opportunity and again had to rent their home in hopes of one day returning home to live in it?
Are these the rich commercial tycoons and wealthy developers that the opposition is talking about?
Sure, there are always a few that benefit that may not “need” it, and there will always be a slight sense “unfairness” in this broken world …… but overwhelmingly, the benefit is to the majority of folks like you and me who live here, raise the families here, worship here, and occasionally enjoy a “meal and a movie” with friends and loved ones…….gladly paying the 1 percent LOST to Berkley County!!
THINK and then vote…..vote YES to LOST!!
Richard L Miler
Dan Miler Lane