SC Gov Debate: James Smith Has Never Met a Tax He Doesn’t Like

October 17, 2018

James Smith tried to mislead about his record of higher taxes. When talking about his votes for higher taxes he said:

“I have supported increases in taxes…it was the right thing to do.” – James Smith (05/03/18)

Not only would James’ far-Left proposals blow up the state’s budget, but here is a comprehensive list of higher taxes James has already supported:

  • In May 1999, Smith sponsored a bill to place a sales tax on “the gross proceeds of the sale of alcoholic beverages by the drink” (H. 4086)
  • In January 2003, Smith sponsored a bill to impose a 2.2 Cent a cigarette tax in order to fund the Medicaid Expansion fund. (H. 3011)
  • In April 2003, Smith sponsored a bill to “provide for the imposition of a one cent sales and use tax by referendum in a municipality for a specific period of time and for specific projects, and to provide the method for imposition, payment, and collection of this tax.”  (H. 3903)
  • In June 2003, Smith sponsored a bill (The School Equity And Property Tax Relief Act) “to impose an additional state sales, use, and casual excise tax equal to two percent of gross proceeds of sales” to be distributed to school districts.  (H. 4411)
  • In May 2004, Smith sponsored a bill that proposed “a sales and use tax equal to one percent of gross sales in Richland County” if the measure was approved by county voters to be distributed to Richland County School Districts.  (H. 5210)
  • In January 2005, Smith sponsored a bill to “provide for the imposition of a one percent sales and use tax by referendum in a municipality for a specific period of time and for specific projects, and to provide the method for imposition, payment, and collection of this tax.” (H. 3350)
  • In January 2005, Smith sponsored “a bill to … provide those taxes allowed to be imposed on beer and wine to the exclusion of other taxes and licenses which may be imposed on beer and wine” (H. 3377)
  • In April 2005, Smith sponsored a bill to determine “the fair market value of off-premises outdoor advertising signs for purposes of the property tax.” (H. 3938)
  • In March 2006, Smith sponsored an “additional 1.6 cent per cigarette license tax” to fund the “Small Business Health Insurance Premium Assistance Act”(H. 4850)
  • In February 2007, Smith sponsored “an additional 4.65 cents per cigarette License Tax” To Fund The “Small Business Health Insurance Premium Assistance Act” (H. 3562)
  • In February 2009, Smith sponsored a bill to “raise the total tax for each pack of cigarettes to that of the southeastern average tax for each pack …”  (H. 3486)
  • In February 2009, Smith sponsored a bill that became law after a veto override to “impose a surtax on each cigarette in an amount of two and one-half cents” to fund smoking prevention programs and the Medicaid Reserve Fund (H. 3584)
  • In April 2015, Smith voted for the Transportation Infrastructure Bank which “included a $365 million a year tax hike on taxpayers through a $0.10 a gallon gas tax increase” (H. 3579)
    • The American Conservative Union said, “this bill included a $365 million a year tax hike on taxpayers through a $0.10 a gallon gas tax increase.” (2015-2016 South Carolina House Scorecard Key, Club For Growth South Carolina)
  • In March 2017, Smith sponsored and voted for the South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act, which increased the state’s gas tax by 10-cents-a-gallon and increased a number of other fees (H. 3516)
    • The American Conservative Union said, “this bill increased the state’s gas tax by 10-cents-a-gallon and increased a number of other fees. All in, this bill raised taxes and fees on South Carolina drivers by $600 million a year.” (2017 South Carolina House Scorecard Key, Club For Growth South Carolina)
  • In May 2017, Smith voted for a later version of and voted to override the veto of the bill that “increased the gas tax by 12 cents, increased the vehicle sales tax, nearly doubled the vehicle registration fee, increased the tax cap on recreational vehicles, and created  a new fee on fuel efficient cars” and “amounted to one of the largest tax increases in South Carolina history”(H. 3516)
    • The American Conservative Union said, “this bill imposes the single largest tax increase in state history by raising the gas tax by over 71% and drastically increasing vehicular fees.” (2017 Ratings Of South Carolina, The American Conservative Union)

    FACT CHECK: In December 2008, Smith sponsored a joint resolution to replace the state constitutional requirement for a balanced budget with “a law providing that state general fund appropriations for a fiscal year may not exceed such appropriations for the prior year increased by the average annual growth rate in state general fund revenues over the preceding ten years.” (H. 3037, Introduced 12/9/08)

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