South Carolina Citizen Journal

December 17, 2007

South Carolina Powerball is economic “Powerdrain”

Filed under: Economy, legislature, Sanford, South Carolina — Tags: , , , , , — NotforHire @ 2:47 pm

There was a well balanced article in The State Sunday about the South Carolina Education Lottery. I for one see both the pros and cons of a state run lottery, but I don’t have a particular ethical dilemma with the system. I have even been known to play the lottery from time to time, it being my little donation to our state school system.

One area the article did not address is, what is the net effect of the multistate powerball game on the wealth of our state? It seems that while good for increased funding of education, it is in fact a net loss of wealth to our state. I mean, if we’re watching $50 million flow out of the state for every $10 million going to education, then that hardly seems like a lottery structure that is good for the state of South Carolina.

I put in a call to SC Education Lottery to get the specific dollar figures and was referred to the Multistate Lottery Association, which runs Powerball. This was disappointing because I’d like to think that the people running things on our end would know the answer to a question directly concerning the financial health of our own state. Apparently that is not the case.

I called the Multistate Lottery Association but was also unable to get an answer to my question.

I think it’s time for the Governor’s office and perhaps the legislature to look into this matter and expose SC Education Lottery’s involvement in Powerball for what it really is, a huge “Powerdrain” on our economy and the wealth of our state.

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December 3, 2007

State tax incentive for Cabela’s step in the wrong direction

Filed under: legislature, Sanford — Tags: , , , , — NotforHire @ 3:43 pm

Governor Sanford is right to oppose tax incentives for sporting goods retailer, Cabela’s. The creation of a few service sector jobs and a very minor tourist ‘destination’ is not nearly enough to validate the tax incentive plan passed by the South Carolina legislature.

It would be a different matter if state and local officials were wooing Cabela’s to move their corporate headquarters to South Carolina. That would have a definite positive impact on South Carolina’s economy. But that is not the case here. What we have here is our own state legislature offering state money to a company based in Nebraska so that they can come here, open a large retail outlet stocked with goods mainly imported from outside South Carolina, and take the profits to a state far from our own.

This is hardly good business and far from good governing.

Now I have never been inside a Cabela’s, though I have driven by a few, and they certainly are a spectacle to the eye from the freeway. As a sportsman I’m sure I would welcome a sporting goods store of that caliber to the state. But I am just as sure that offering tax incentives to a box retailer whose corporate offices are in another state is a step in the wrong direction. The legislation should be immediately repealed and Cabela’s executives politely told that we welcome them to the state if they want to do business here, but that South Carolinians are not interested in paying a company based in Nebraska to open a retail outlet here.

I look forward to shopping at the new Cabela’s after they look at the numbers and see that they will be profitable here without taking a handout from our state.

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