Letters to the Editor 1-28-15

Do you care about your county?

Dear Editor,

Pickens County schools need a tax increase in order to restore funding to 2007 levels. There are folks who are passionate about the future of Pickens County, and then there are those who are passionate about their party’s no-tax pledge.

Let’s take a look at some of the folks who are passionate about the future of Pickens County. Google “Concerned Citizens of Pickens County.” Look at the passion, the supporting graphs and charts, and the in depth-research that’s been done to show why Pickens County is trailing so far behind the rest of the state.

This site accurately illustrates the fact that Pickens County is upside-down and trailing other counties by virtually every measurement. We have excellent schools and innovative industry here, but we lack adequate state and local funding. In fact, out of 81 school districts, ours is just about dead last for what we spend to keep the doors of our schools open.

If you question the motives of the Concerned Citizens group, please ask yourself if this group reflects your values, cares about children, values our small-town quality of life, understands the importance of extracurricular activities and recreation for our young people and wants to preserve a legacy of great schools with great teachers. The answer is clear. They do.

Left unfixed, Pickens County will continue to suffer the consequences of neglect, ultimately resulting in higher taxes, a diminishing tax base, and lower property values. Is this what we want for for Pickens County?

I know that in your heart you believe in a bright future for Pickens County. What we do today determines what we’ll leave for future generations. Will our children say that we did everything in our power to preserve an excellent school district? Or will they point to vacant buildings and ask us why we let that happen?

Please show your support by signing the petition. You can access the petition, as well as contact information for your school board trustees, delegates to the S.C. House and Senator Larry Martin at

Tom O’Hanlan


We’re already taxed enough

Dear Editor,

With Obama pushing a tax increase, and Gov. Nikki Haley pushing a gas tax, and my local government pushing a tax increase, and my Pickens County School Board pushing a tax hike, I think it is time we the people understand just how many taxes we pay already! Here is a list of taxes, and this doesn’t include other taxes you pay if you own a business.

1. Federal income tax; 2. State income tax; 3. Local income tax; 4. Employee social security tax (your employer pays the other half); 5. Employee Medicare tax (your employer pays the other half); 6. Property taxes; 7. Road toll charges; 8. State sales tax; 9. Driver’s license renewal fee; 10. TV Cable/Satellite fees and taxes; 11. Federal telephone surtax, excise tax, and universal surcharge; 12. State telephone excise tax and surcharge; 13. Telephone minimum usage and recurring/nonrecurring charges tax; 14. Gas/electric bill fees and taxes; 15. Water/sewer fees and taxes; 16. Cigarette tax; 17. Alcohol tax; 18. Federal gasoline tax; 19. State gasoline tax; 20. Local gasoline tax; 21. Federal inheritance tax; 22. State inheritance tax; 23. Gift tax; 24. Bridge toll charges; 25. Marriage license; 26. Hunting license; 27. Fishing license; 28. Bike license fee; 29. Dog permit/license; 30. State park permit; 31. Watercraft registration and licensing fees; 32. Sports stadium tax; 33. Bike/nature trail permit; 34. Court case filing fee; 35. Retirement account early withdrawal penalty; 36. Individual health insurance mandate tax; 37. Hotel stay tax; 38. Plastic surgery surcharge; 39. Soda/fatty-food tax; 40. Air transportation tax; 41. Electronic transmission of tax return fees; 42. Passport application/renewal fee; 43. Luxury and gas-guzzler car taxes; 44. New car surcharge; 45. License plate and car ownership transfer taxes; 46. Yacht and luxury boat taxes; 47. Jewelry taxes and surcharges; 48. State/local school tax; 49. Recreational vehicle tax; 50. Special assessments for road repairs or construction; 51. Gun ownership permit; 52. Kiddies tax (IRS form 8615); 53. Fuel gross receipts tax; 54. Waste Management tax; 55. Oil and gas assessment tax; 56. Use taxes (on out-of-state purchase); 57. IRA rollover tax/withdrawal penalties; 58. Tax on non-qualified health saving account distributions; 59. Individual and small business surtax (page 336 of Obamacare); 60. Estimated income tax underpayment penalty; 61. Alternative Minimum Tax on income.

By the time it is all said and done, we the people pay nearly half of what we earn to the government. This is wrong, but nothing will be done about it until we the people stand up and yell “We are taxed enough already!” The government will never have enough … with nearly 50 percent of your hard-earned dollars, the government has us in debt to the tune of more than $18 trillion. Haven’t you had enough? Don’t raise my taxes by even one more cent!

Johnnelle Raines