Taxes Become Topic of Discussion in South Carolina Gubernatorial Race

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, February 15th, 2018, 4:48 PM PERMALINK

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) recently came under attack from Catherine Templeton, McMaster’s opponent who is challenging the incumbent governor in the upcoming June primary to be the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate this November.

Templeton – who has served as Director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control and is also former Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation – claimed at a recent Republican luncheon that Gov. McMaster signed into law “"the largest tax increase in modern history.”

Templeton’s claim here is false, and has been correctly ruled as inaccurate in fact checks conducted by both the Charleston Post & Courier and the Columbia, SC-based The State newspaper. As the Post & Courier fact check points out, the pension bill signed by McMaster that Templeton claims was a tax hike is a piece of legislation that, in fact, “did not include any new taxes.” Rather, that bill increased employer and employee contributions to the state pension system.

Templeton’s attack on Gov. McMaster here false and misleading. As it would happen, not only has he not raised taxes, but Gov. McMaster is one of 12 governors nationwide to have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to voters to oppose and veto any and all efforts to raise taxes. Gov. McMaster kept his commitment to South Carolina voters by vetoing a regressive gas tax increase last year that was ultimately enacted when the legislature overrode his veto. Nikki Haley was a Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer during her time as governor. Catherine Templeton has also signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in her bid for office.

“After being hit with 20 federal Obamacare tax increases over the last eight years and a state gas tax hike last year, the last thing Palmetto State taxpayers need is to be hit with further tax hikes at the state level,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said. “As such, I applaud both Gov. Henry McMaster and Catherine Templeton for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and in doing so, making the principled commitment to defend South Carolina voters from any and all efforts to raises their taxes.”

Photo Credit: Jimmy Emmerson