If a grocery store clerk accidentally scanned a product twice, costing you double, you would be right to politely complain. Have you ever wanted to pay double for your taxes? Well, you already do, and you should politely complain to your state legislators.
South Carolina requires counties to provide certain government functions on behalf of the state such as magistrates and circuit courts, voter registration and elections, libraries, storm water management, jails, victim services, public defenders, and many more. To offset the cost of these mandated services, state law requires the state to provide an amount equal to 4.5 percent of its previous year’s general fund budget to be distributed to the counties and municipalities in South Carolina. This is the Local Government Fund (LGF). For the last decade, our S.C. Legislature has passed a budget proviso each year to cut the amount set aside for the LGF, circumventing state law.
Because of shortfalls in LGF payments, county taxes collected to pave county owned roads or build and maintain county owned sewers have been diverted to pay for state mandated services. Taxpayers have paid both county and state taxes, but county taxes were used for state services. County taxpayers have paid twice to receive the same government service once. You have been paying double taxes.
Taxpayers should politely discuss the LGF with their state legislators. Resist any suggestion to lower the amount of the state’s obligated LGF payments. Local governments will still have the same mandated costs to deal with.