The Conservatives of the Upstate have members from every walk of life in the upstate and a large contingent from Pickens County. We have truck drivers, restaurant owners, retired teachers, former textile executives, teachers to industry, farmers, retired persons, computer experts, and people who care about our democratic republic; to mention a few. All these people voted 2 to 1 in 2005, not to build all these schools at one time. This would allow the people of Pickens County an opportunity to pay for and maintain the buildings without placing an undue burden on the people.
But our school board decided to violate the 8% of the appraised property law, and the constitutional law (Article 11, Section 3) that states that the State of SC is responsible for providing education to all citizens. There obviously can’t be school without buildings.
The board has consistently broken several collection and refund laws since the 1980’s, and they do it knowingly. While I love sports, I don’t think we needed 100 million in stadiums, fields, and arenas. On top of that, SC law 388 was violated, in that the payments on the schools to the Dummy Corporation (SCAGO) were operational expenses and should be paid by the state. The Supreme Court even said this, but our Senator believed that our people should continue to have the largest tax increase in Pickens history, and has since prefiled a new law and got it passed to make sure that the people are thoroughly taxed. So long to the repossessed homes of our citizens. Reckon the company interviewing for tax breaks that saw the new schools saw the empty homes that the folks can no longer afford.
It is beyond thinking that educators cannot see what a $23 billion dollar unfunded pension plan and continued high taxation are doing to the economy and the potential for providing pensions in the future. Just look at Greece and other European nations that refused to live within their means. The Appalachian Council of Governments published a comprehensive plan showing that the average income in Pickens County is just over $24,000, while teachers make an average of $47,000. The $24,000 includes teachers salaries so when you take them out, of the equation the average citizen that has to pay bills is down around $17,000. Figure it out. New companies get a tax break, and the citizens have to pay more of the salaries and loans the county has made.
We all want prosperity, but taxing the poor or even the rich isn’t going to get it done.
Chairman of the Board
Conservatives of the Upstate