ATR President Grover Norquist sent the following letter to Senators in South Carolina in opposition to HB 3412, legislation being considered by the General Assembly. The proposal would raise the gas tax, and contains a number of other provisions which violate the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The letter reads as follows: 

Dear Members of the South Carolina Senate,

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our members across South Carolina, I write today in opposition to HB 3412, legislation that would raise taxes on South Carolinians in a number of ways. HB 3412 redirects revenues obtained through the sale or leasing of vehicles from the General Fund to the State Infrastructure Bank. However, in addition to this, the bill also raises taxes and fees on fuel, cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, and contains several other problematic provisions.

HB 3412 contains numerous provisions that ATR rates as a tax increase and a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The indexing of the gas tax to inflation, which this bill would do, would result in higher gasoline taxes and is a clear tax increase. Furthermore, HB 3412 contains numerous “fee increases” that are really tax increases in disguise. These include “fee increases” on personal vehicles, trucks, and a special tax for hybrid vehicles. This legislation also raises “fees” on drivers’ licenses and creates a road use fee for commercial motor vehicles (with a higher tax being placed on vehicles from out of state). These misguided measures will serve to reduce disposable income for families, diminish job-creating capacity of employers, and will discourage commerce in South Carolina.

On the heels of the federal tax hikes that hit your constituents at the  beginning of this year, the last thing South Carolina taxpayers and the  state economy need is to be hit with another round of tax increases. As such, I urge you to oppose HB 3412, which will increase the tax burden on hardworking individuals, families, and employers in the Palmetto State. A vote for HB 3412 is a vote for higher taxes and a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, an important commitment that 32 South Carolina legislators have made to their constituents. ATR will continue to follow this issue and will be educating South Carolina taxpayers as to how their representatives in the legislature vote on this important matter.

To view a PDF copy of the letter, click here.