Why does the SC Senate call a tax a fee?


By Jamie Murguia | The Nerve

When lawmakers start playing games with the words, pay attention: there’s a good reason for it, and it almost certainly will affect you.

This week the Senate took up H.3412, a bill that, as passed by the House, would dedicate 50 percent of sales, use, and casual excise taxes collected from the sale of a motor vehicle in South Carolina in FY 2013-14 and FY 2014-15, and 100 percent thereafter, to the State Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund.

Lawmakers quickly amended it on the Senate floor to take money from the state Department of Transportation – the agency tasked with maintaining the state’s infrastructure – and diverting it to an agency that exists primarily to fund new expansionary construction projects rather than provide maintenance of the state’s existing roads: the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

at The Nerve.