SC Legislative Update – May 11

South Carolina Session Adjournment

The South Carolina General Assembly has adjourned Sine Die.  The Budget Conference Committee will return to Columbia to meet next week to iron out the last few remaining issues.  The General Assembly will return on May 23 to address vetoes and outlying conference committee reports.

The BIG news from this session is South Carolina will have recurring funding to repair and maintain its roads.  Though Governor McMaster vetoed the bill, the House and Senate both voted to override his veto.  The law raises the gas tax by 2 cents per gallon every year over the next 6 years.  This is projected to generate $600 million in recurring revenue once the 12 cents is fully implemented.  Another major component of the law is the Department of Transportation will essentially become a cabinet agency.  The old days of the “Hiway Depart” being controlled by the legislature are over.  View Full Story Here

In Other News: A Win for the Industry

Voters in Santa Fe, New Mexico soundly defeated a two-cent per ounce tax on most sugar-sweetened beverages last week.  In record turnout for this one-issue special election, nearly 58% of the voters rejected the tax. Opponents resisted the proposed tax as an unfair overreach by city leaders and not the best way to fulfill a recognized need for expanding access to preschool programs.  Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg donated the bulk of the nearly $1.5 million spent in support of the Santa Fe beverage tax.  It proves once again that when the people vote, soft taxes lose.