Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Shoot yourself in the foot

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Here, I thought the Amazon Flap was over. I guess we just got Amazon Flap 3.0 on the way.

A.F. 1.0 Governor Haley puts the kibosh on the deal her predecessor ‘Hiking Mark’ Sanford cut with Amazon. The State legislature steps in, most notably the Lexington and Richland County and local delegations, and the deal is back on when legislation is introduced outlining the terms of the deal.

A.F. 2.0 A group of lobbyists allegedly representing local business owners, but paid for by some of the big box chain stores, does some high pressure and creative lobbying and scares enough of the legislators to the point where the deal may be off again.

Ostensibly, the choking point was that Amazon was off the S.C. state sales tax hook for five years. Back comes the Lexington and Richland white hats and after some arm-twisting and probably a few ‘dumb smacks’ ala Mark Harmon in “NCIS” the legislation is passed.

In a move reminiscent of when my kids misbehaved and were sent to their room, Governor Haley throws a hissy fit and refuses to sign the bill. No matter, it automatically becomes law after 10 day on the Gov’s desk.

The part that was supposed to be most harmful, the potential of a $2.5 million revenue loss due to the sales tax exemption will be more than overcome by the $11.5 gain in S.C. income tax. This is the same as you giving me $0.25 and I gave you $1.15 in change. There is no doubt that you would be pounding on my front door with a duffel bag full of quarters ASAP.

(That reminds me. We have got to get a mandatory math test for our elected officials.)

This is the point where I came to believe that cooler heads had prevailed and the ‘Help Wanted’ sign would be hung out in front of the new Amazon building, momentarily. Not so fast, Cowboy Jim.

A.F. 3.0 There is a ‘watchdog’ group out of Greenville called, “The S.C. Public Interest Foundation” that wants to challenge the tax break in the S.C. Supreme Court. This outfit has “dozens” of other suits against organizations that have gotten tax breaks.

Peachy keen. This seems to me that the S.C. PIF watchdogs have got the same math skills as my cat. We have got 2,000+ jobs on the line in a state with a serious unemployment problem. Enforcing or interpreting a law for the sake of law, no matter who gets hurt, is not my idea of looking out for the public’s interest.

I offer a solution. Legislate those laws that would encourage businesses to come to our state. I am not saying give the farm away, but make the rules flexible enough so that S.C. becomes the ‘go to’ place if you are setting up or expanding a business. Keep in mind that the payback is in payroll taxes and lower unemployment.

With all this flapping around, maybe we just screwed up and learned something. © 2011, Harmony County

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Written by harmonycounty

June 30, 2011 at 4:42 p06

Posted in Americana, Humor, Politics

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