August 4, 2017

7 Comments

Nowhere to run

Now we’re up a creek with Santee Cooper By HANNAH HILL When the multi-billion V.C. Summer nuclear reactor project was scrapped this week, the question on everyone’s mind was “Who’s going to pick up the tab for this?” SCANA, SCE&G’s parent corporation, wasted no time in asking the Public Service Commission’s permission to pass the […]

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August 2, 2017

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So your reactors are kaput. Now what?

There’s a big mess in Jenkinsville to unbuild By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ The announcement earlier this week that SCE&G and state-owned utility Santee Cooper were pulling the plug on construction of two nuclear reactors in Jenkinsville has left questions that keep multiplying. In the run-up to the decision, one factor driving it was that the partly-completed, […]

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August 1, 2017

17 Comments

Who pays for failed reactors?

Spoiler alert: probably you By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Last week, as the planned construction of two nuclear reactors in South Carolina was enveloped in doubt following the bankruptcy of their contractor, Westinghouse, news came of another planned rate-hike by one of the project’s two partners, the government-owned utility Santee Cooper. Under the proposal, the Santee Cooper […]

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July 28, 2017

4 Comments

Picking produce — and winners

Not peachy-keen on tax-credit schemes By HANNAH HILL Tax credits can be some of the worst policies a government can pass. Taxes, as a rule, should be broad-based (everybody pays them) and low-rate (nobody pays much). Tax credits usually violate that principle – after all, tax cuts are different from tax favors. The former lowers […]

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July 26, 2017

9 Comments

Watching that gas-tax money

Comptroller says account will be online By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Once the state gas tax increase went into effect on the first day of July, money began to flow from it and vehicle sales tax and registration fees through various state agencies to the State Treasurer, en route to… To where, precisely, is the question. The […]

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July 24, 2017

8 Comments

A huge hike to cover troubled nuclear reactors

Santee Cooper proposes raising residential rates by almost 10 percent By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility, is notifying customers that it wants to raise its rates by more than 9 percent over the next several years, in part to cover “costs associated with nuclear construction.” The reference is to its share of the $11 […]

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July 21, 2017

8 Comments

Enough with the parting gifts

Consulting jobs for ex-agency heads are costly and unnecessary By ABBY NUGENT According to a contract obtained by the Post and Courier, the former head of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Catherine Templeton, accepted a contract with the agency just one day after she left her position in January of 2015. […]

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July 20, 2017

11 Comments

Why is electricity so expensive in South Carolina?

We pay more than any other state — but not all of us do By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ In a ranking of states by total energy costs, South Carolina is solidly in the middle, at 24th most expensive. When the costs of electricity, natural gas, motor fuel, and home heating oil are averaged and combined, state […]

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July 14, 2017

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You’re not the boss of us

When economic development becomes a state priority, citizens lose control By HANNAH HILL As the Policy Council has been compiling this year’s Best and Worst of the General Assembly, I couldn’t help noticing a recurring theme: economic development-related bills. Some are overt, like one that would create two new programs and a grant fund to […]

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July 13, 2017

5 Comments

Bad news on sales tax

taxes on receipts

Feeling nibbled? Here’s one reason By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ If you shop locally and wonder where the money goes, the Tax Foundation has an explanation. South Carolinians pay the 17th-highest sales taxes in the nation, according to a new midyear report from the nonpartisan think tank. The ranking, arrived at by combining state and a population-weighted average […]

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