‘Yankee Tax’ In South Carolina Moves Forward In State Senate
U-Haul logo is seen on the truck in Chicago, United States on October 19, 2022.
Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A “Yankee tax” advanced in the South Carolina state Senate this week which would tack on extra fees to those moving to the Palmetto State when they register their cars. 

The tax, proposed by Republican State Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, would add on an additional $250 fee to the $250 already paid by new transplants to register their vehicles. The money would go toward infrastructure in the state. 

“We in South Carolina don’t require a capital contribution of anybody that moves here from out of state, although they take advantage of our roads, our bridges, our schools, and our green spaces immediately on day one,” Goldfinch said

Goldfinch, who represents coastal counties near Charleston, said the intent of the measure was not to slow down the influx of new residents but to generate more revenue for the state to improve infrastructure.

“We’re not trying to build a wall across the North Carolina border,” he said. “But, at the same time, we think that people should have to pay their fair share when they show up.”

The bill, which has been referred to as a “Yankee tax,” passed the Senate Finance Committee 11-6 and will now go before the entire Senate for a vote.

Some have floated making an exemption to the tax for military personnel who move to the state after their service is over, a move Goldfinch said he would be open to. State Sen. Sean Bennett, another Republican who backed the bill, said that managing growth was difficult. 

“Growth is not easy to manage, particularly in your community, certainly in my communities,” he said. “But where does it stop, I guess, is my question.”

South Carolina was one of the top ten states to move to in 2022, alongside Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas, according to a recent report. In the last ten years, South Carolina has grown by roughly 500,000 people with many people coming from nearby North Carolina and Georgia.

The influx of people into the South has come as many have left California and New York, looking to southern states for lower taxes, mild weather, and a better climate for business. The states which lost the most people were Illinois, California, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. 

In some areas, the incoming residents have contributed to rising housing prices as they sell expensive property in California and then bring that to a state with cheaper land and houses.

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