Quick: Where have you seen this picture before?
Y’all are free to take off on the subject of your choosing.
But if you have trouble coming up with one, here’s one that’s on my mind this morning. Did you see this?
he S.C. House’s main budget-writing panel voted Tuesday to allow counties and cities to buy some state roads.
Now, counties must use 25 percent of the money that they get from the General Assembly to maintain state roads. If the amendment approved Tuesday becomes part of next year’s budget, counties and other local governments instead could use that 25 percent to buy state roads.
Road purchases by counties and local governments could eat into the more than 20,000 miles of state roads that are 2 miles long or shorter, said House and Ways Chairman Brian White, R-Anderson.
The state owns and maintains more than 41,000 miles of roads, the vestige of years of state control over local governments….
The question that immediately comes to mind is, why on Earth would already-strapped local governments want to buy roads from the state?
If state government would set local governments free to raise taxes as they see fit, maybe localities could take on this added burden. Until that happens, local governments would be crazy to take on maintenance of roads that the state can’t seem to come up with the money to take care of. Yeah, this plan supposedly offers a revenue source — a fixed amount grudgingly provided by the state. But if the state can’t get the job done with that money now, how is distributing it to multiple entities, each with its own structure and administrative costs, going to fix the problem?
A strong thread in the narrative of the state’s relationship with local governments, ever since the false promise of Home Rule in the mid-70s, has been to foist off on the locals things the state doesn’t want to pay for, without allowing the locals to come up with their own ways of paying for it. The state gives an unfunded, or underfunded, mandate with one hand, and holds the locals down with the other, greatly restricting how they can raise revenue.
Maybe there’s a good point in this idea somewhere, but I’m missing it.
Sorry. Didn’t mean to go on and on about this. This is an open thread…