1. The oath of office taken by all elected officials and found in our South Carolina State Constitution demands that the official "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution of the United States and of the State of South Carolina. It doesn't allow the leeway of politicians to override these Constitutions with statutory law that doesn't agree with these Constitutions.
2. Article XI Section 3 of the South Carolina Constitution demands that the State shall provide for the maintenance and support of a system of free public schools open to all children in the State…
The system cannot be open to the children unless a building is supplied for the children to attend. This is the obvious intent of the writers of the Constitution, and a later vote in the 1950's during Governor James F. Byrnes administration that asked the people of South Carolina to approve a 3% sales tax for the purpose of "building schools". In 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States vetoed the concept of "separate but equal schools". The General Assembly illegally grabbed the money and started spending it on anything they wished. It was just moved to the general fund and consequently the counties were forced into constructing their own schools which is a violation of the SC State Constitution because it violated Article X, Section 14 & 15 (8% rule) and Article XI Section 3.
Article X of the Constitution limits the amount a county can borrow in general obligation debt to 8% of the appraised value of the property in that County. The intent of this part of "the 8% law" was to give the counties some leeway on capital items of a nature critical to the immediate operation of the schools.
3. Along comes the McNair law firm and with the creation of SCAGO (South Carolina Association of Governmental Organizations) for the purpose of subverting "the 8% law". It has been litigated at least three times, and each time the SC Supreme Court has allowed the citizens of the counties to be unconstitutionally pushed into massive debt: Now $411,000,000 in Pickens County alone, even when the intent of "the 8% law" was to not allow these type of shenanigans. The people of Pickens County in a referendum rejected massive debt by a vote of 9195 to 5538 in November of 2005, but this didn't even slow down the School Board. They threatened the people and said they would set up a dummy corporation under SCAGO, and if the people tried to stop them legally, they would borrow the money by December 31, 2005 (The General Assembly Deadline) from a European Bank. When the Supreme Court ruled that Colleton County Taxpayers Association v. School District of Colleton County, (371 S.C. 224,638 S.E.2d 685, 2006) had not violated statute 11-27-110A defining a "financing Agreement" and that the agreement was not with the alter ego of the school board, they were off to the races even though there was not a single contract that needed borrowed funds or was there even any plans for this project. The money ($336,165,000) was borrowed for the purpose of paying the debt and was borrowed by The "dummy" corporation (SCAGO Educational Facilities Corporation for Pickens School District"). The money was placed in an interest bearing account at Wells Fargo Bank and accumulated over $13 million dollars in interest by 2013. The people of Pickens County had been paying taxes on this money the whole time, but are not guaranteed under the law to continue to do so, as these are revenue bonds; not general obligation debt.
This year Ben Trotter, representing the Liberty-Easley District, decided to resign and the School Board conspired to spend the interest from the revenue bonds without notifying or communicating with the SCAGO dummy Corp (broken contract). The quorum rule cannot satisy this type of voting because the Liberty-Easley district was not represented at all. (16% of the county population) Therefore, the vote was unconstitutional and Article X Section 5 comes into play,
"no tax… shall be established, fixed, laid or levied under any pretext whatever,without the consent of the people or their representatives lawfully assembled."
There will have to be an additional tax levied to make up for the loss of the $13.5 million. This will be double taxation. The taxpayers have already paid for that interest in monies from taxes that should have been used to reduce the debt. The whole vote is unconstitutional. The vote is illegal because of "the 8% rule", the Constitution (Article XI Section 3) , the oath of office, the structural make up of the local SCAGO Board (there are no elected officials on the SCAGO Board that can even set millage - The Auditor and the Treasurer are "ministerial"in duties.) The whole intent is to subvert the Constitution, and make the people of Pickens County pay more for schools, that the State should pay for. The people of Pickens County clearly voted against this.
In 2008, a group of citizens met with Mark Sanford and explained their concerns. The Governor heard their complaint for over an hour and a half. Afterwards, he recommended that they meet with Attorney General Henry McMaster. They discovered that the Senate had passed a procedural rule that called for your local Senator to set up individual meetings with the Attorney General. They wrote Senator Larry Martin and asked him to make such plans for them. He refused.
In addition to the above complaints, the group considers the whole SCAGO contract is an operating expense and should be covered under Act 388 of the General Assembly where the state added a 1% sales tax to pay the operating expense. This was a tax to replace property tax on an SC resident's owner occupied home.
Blue Ridge Bible Church
769 Belle Shoals Rd
Pickens SC 29671
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