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SC Republican Promotes ‘Yankee Tax’ For Incoming Residents

Chris Agee
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A growing number of disaffected residents, largely from Democratic-led Northeastern states, are relocating to the South in search of lower taxes, better weather, or an escape from leftist social experiments.

While Florida has received much of the attention due to its spike in the number of transplants from New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere, other states throughout the region have also seen a marked increase.

In South Carolina, one Republican state lawmaker recently announced a plan that would require incoming residents to pay a total of $500 in order to obtain vehicle registration and a driver’s license in the Palmetto State. 


State Sen. Stephen Goldfinch introduced the proposal last month, noting that the revenue would be used to fund infrastructure projects, conservation efforts, and education. He pushed back against claims that the added fees would deter people from considering South Carolina when planning to relocate, asserting that he only wants people who will be benefiting from the state’s existing infrastructure to pay “their fair share.”

He also noted that each county would be responsible for imposing the fees locally rather than forcing a one-size-fits-all program at the state level. 

“We have a serious issue in South Carolina, especially in high-growth counties, where our quality of life is being diminished,” he said. “Because of the high growth, we’re just not able to keep up with the infrastructure, the schools, the roads, the bridges, the utilities, and the green space that we need in order to keep our quality of life.”

Fort Mill Mayor Guynn Savage agrees, noting the impact that a roughly 400% population increase over the past 10 years has had on the community.

“Growth does not pay for growth,” she said. “Even the residential growth that was here isn’t paying the taxes needed to afford all of the services that are provided in a municipality.”


Due to the prevalence of northerners who continue to make South Carolina their new home, the proposal is informally called the “Yankee tax.”

Since most of those individuals will be saving thousands of dollars per year by leaving states with significantly higher taxes, Goldfinch does not believe an extra $500 will be a deal-breaker for most people considering a move to South Carolina. 

“If that offends you so much that it stops you from moving here, honestly, go somewhere else,” he said. 

If the bill is successful in the state Senate, the matter will go to the counties for a vote in next year’s elections.

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