Our state senators have passed a bill, S-1100, which will increase your taxes and lower theirs. Senate Bill 1100, co-sponsored by S.C. Sens. Tom Young, R-Aiken, Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington, and Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, and unanimously, that’s right, unanimously passed by our S.C Senate, will allow employers to exempt “corporate officers” from paying their share of S.C.’s unemployment trust fund. You’ll recall that’s the trust fund that was almost a billion dollars in debt and required a bailout from the federal government. S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has worked diligently to restore the trust fund and to upgrade S.C.’s credit rating. The senators argue this exemption will not have a significant effect on the trust fund; however, the trust fund remains some $360 million in debt. And, of course, corporate officers (think attorneys) are never laid off, so why should they have to pay this tax? So, who’s going to make up the difference if “corporate officers” no longer have to pay into this $360 million dollar delinquent trust fund? The answer is you and me.

As reported in The Post and Courier and posted in the Aiken Standard, in yet another tax shift by the S.C. Senate onto the backs of the common “S.C. Joe,” the Senate Finance Committee has endorsed a plan to give themselves a 100 percent raise. That’s right, not 2 percent or 5 percent or 10 percent, but a raise from $12,000 per year for their current “in district expenses” to $24,000. And that’s on top of their $10,400 yearly salary, plus $131.00 per day per diem, or approximately $15,000. So let’s add it up…$10,400 yearly salary, $24,000 new in district expenses and $15,000 per diem. Looks like $49,400 per year for our part time legislators. Not too shabby wouldn’t say? And don’t forget, we need to include the added taxes we pay for their gold-plated retirement benefit, their guaranteed health benefit plan and their mileage compensation. And, as usual, who will be responsible to pay for our Senator’s 100 percent salary increase. The answer is you and me.

Fred Hoefle