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Superintendent Jim Rex calls for new state property tax

January 28, 2009

Contact: Neil Mellen
South Carolinians for Responsible Government
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
(803) 212-1051

“Superintendent Jim Rex calls for new state property tax”


Today, State lawmakers heard from Superintendent Jim Rex about his plan for a new statewide property tax.

South Carolina public school districts already spend more than $11,000 per child but Rex is worried that declining state tax revenues might slow the growth rate in public school spending. The Budget and Control Board reports that public spending has grown by $2.2 billion since 2001, or 40% in the last seven fiscal years.

Rex’s plan begins with the replacement of South Carolina’s existing “Index of Taxpaying Ability,” a formula used by state lawmakers when determining how much state money should be sent to schools. The present formula considers how capable local governments are of collecting taxes based on property values in that county. Then state lawmakers determine what share of funding can be paid by the county and how much the state should help.

Rex’s plan would repeal the recently passed property-tax relief on family homes, rework the calculation of local tax contributions, and ultimately implement a statewide “uniform foundation” property tax millage in 2011. Confusingly, the new tax would be managed and collected by local governments, but established and calculated by state lawmakers.

In addition to the new tax, Rex also called for:

– A re-write and elimination of existing tax incentives and other economic development agreements made by local governments across the state with businesses in their communities.
– Expansion of a small pilot program for low-income children into a statewide means-tested pre-Kindergarten program.

– Additional money for school districts in the form of short and long term grants for designing and implementing spending reforms

“The high cost and radical design of the plan speaks volumes about South Carolina’s public school establishment,” said Randy Page, President of South Carolinians for Responsible Government. “Rather than innovate and expand choices for parents during a fiscal crisis, which would save the state millions of dollars, Jim Rex is once demanding more money from taxpayers.”

While all the programs contained aspects of increasing state spending, Rex characterized the totality of his plan as a “reform” necessitated by the economic downturn.

“Jim Rex is completely out of touch with the day-to-day realities faced by families and businesses in South Carolina,” Page continued. “Offering tuition tax credits to families whose children transfered to independent or home-schools would save taxpayers more than $5,000 per child. If Rex is worried about new revenues this is the type of solution he needs to consider.”


7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2009 4:18 pm

    Rex is a liberal genius. Instead of expanding choices for families and allowing Churches and private institutions to create new capacity, he insists on following a completely moronic tax and build approach, investing in beaurocracy, not children.

    Of course this is all meant to prevent the abject terror that grips the heart of every liberal when faced with the idea that a child might be learn virtue along with the 3-R’s.

    To help Rex and his minions avoid future panic attacks and other disorders we should all rent our homes from the government.

    Rex and those who think like him can have my property deed when they rip it from my cold dead hands.

    Jesse Sewell
    Columbia, SC

  2. January 28, 2009 4:42 pm

    I think the IDIOT Rex has completely lost his mind. He wants to take the funding of the State that cuts its funds in bad times and take it off businesses and rental properties and put it on retired,poor, people who make it from payday to payday because they will have to pay in bad times or take their house and kick them in the street. We need to have recall so we can KICK HIM OUT OF OFFICE and tar and feather him. He is for big business( who can afford to pay) and put it all on the backs of working people ( people who are on fixed or low income). It is time for the citizens of South Carolina to get rid of BIG GOVERMENT.

  3. Jerry Shutt permalink
    January 28, 2009 5:31 pm

    Rex hasn’t lost his mind, this is the mentality of the Looney Left. Tax and more tax is the mantra of their ilk, and it always falls on the backs of the working folks, as the less fortunate tend to not pay taxes. This is what happens everytime a liberal is put in office. Just wait, this isn’t just happening in SC, now that the most liberal Senator in Congress is in the White House.

  4. JERRY STRAWBRIDGE permalink
    January 28, 2009 5:57 pm

    The amount of the state budget that is spent on education has reached 65%!!!! Research the numbers.
    The tax relief bill of 2006 was a windfall for many of the school districts. Many school districts
    received much more money under that law. The problem
    is that when they received that money from the
    state, they did not have to put into OPERATIONS. Many
    of them put it into RESERVE ACCOUNTS or CAPITAL
    IMPROVEMENT ACCOUNTS. Check it out with your local
    County Treasurer. I can back up these statements.

  5. January 28, 2009 6:08 pm

    Jess, Heston would be proud! Let’s have lunch soon.

  6. BlueCat57 permalink
    February 8, 2009 8:21 pm

    Don’t forget that $11,000 is the total amount spent just the amount of STATE tax dollars spent. You need to add int Federal money, money spent on food services and probably a bunch of other money too. How about this quick calculation. We spend $220,000 on each 20 child classroom. And what does the teacher earn? $50,000 with benefits? How much does it cost to build a 2,500 sq. ft. classroom? Maybe $250,000 if it weren’t for all the waste and ridiculous regulations. How much would books and supplies cost per child? $1,000 if they were gold plated. So where does all the money go? BUREAUCRATIC WASTE!!! An where does that money come from? I can’t even figure it out. My family earns over the median income and pays less than a $4,000 in TOTAL state taxes, and I mean sales, property and income, and we have 2 children. I want to thank all those who are paying for my children’s education because I sure as heck ain’t. I can’t even imagine who the state is bleeding dry to get the money.

  7. BlueCat57 permalink
    February 8, 2009 9:45 pm

    “He wants to take the funding of the State that cuts its funds in bad times and take it off businesses and rental properties and put it on retired,poor, people who make it from payday to payday because they will have to pay in bad times or take their house and kick them in the street.” Next time you need a job go ask a retired, poor person for one. The rich, not the poor, are who create jobs in the state. That is why the only way to grow the economy and create jobs is to cut the taxes on the rich, and everyone else. Who owns businesses? People. So taxing a business is just plain stupid. All the business owner does is pass the cost of taxes on to the poor people buying their product. This is the type of ignorance we get from the $11,000 we spend. Adults who don’t have a clue how the economy works. But of course that is the goal of government education, smart enough to spend 8 hours a day working and stupid enough not to know they could have a better life without government.

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