“’Hidden tax’ outweighs gas tax” was the headline of an editorial in The Post & Courier, South Carolina’s largest circulation newspaper, the day after Tuesday’s release of TRIP’s latest report in South Carolina.
Just a few hours before the conservative political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, held a rally the State House in opposition to a proposed increase the state’s motor-fuels tax -- last raised in 1987 -- TRIP’s report was released at a news conference at the State House. The South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads used the report to counter the anti-tax proponents and publicize cost-to-motorists and needs messages. The debate now shifts to the Senate after the House approved a 10-cent per gallon tax to be implemented over five years that would generate $600 million a year.
The president/CEO of the South Carolina Chamber spoke at the Columbia news conference, which also included representatives from the Charleston, Lexington and Upstate chambers of commerce. A news conference was also held in Myrtle Beach with the president/CEO of the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, and media availability was provided in the Charleston, Florence and Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson areas with representatives of the respective chambers of commerce.
Initial news coverage is being tracked across the state, with the editorial referenced above stating: “The TRIP report is a reminder that there are hidden taxes in the legislative opposition to an overdue hike in the gas tax — which was last increased 30 years ago. Based on the latest data, the penny-wise, pound-foolish approach is costing residents substantially more than a gas tax increase. Obstructionists in the Statehouse should heed the findings.” The report’s release also generated three front-page stories and another 15 newspaper and internet news site articles. TV coverage tracked so far includes 19 broadcasts on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates. Click here, TRIP South Carolina Report and News Coverage, to view the news releases, report and news coverage tracked so far. The link will be updated as additional news coverage is tracked.
TRIP heads to Louisiana next Wednesday to release a report where another motor-fuels tax increase is being debated in a state legislature. Please let me know if you have any questionsor suggestions.
The Birmingham Section started 2015 with a political reception at the Murray Building Co. jobsite at the old Merita Bread Bakery. More than 150 members were in attendance with city and state officials. Everyone enjoyed a tour of the site as well as barbecue from Joe McNabb and Hendrix Chevrolet.