If your Mayor, the Governor, your US Senator … the local CEO of XYZ public institution … your Church leader … if they had a DRAG QUEEN at their “Christmas Party” … there should be hell to pay.
Our ELECTED OFFICIALS should be held to the HIGHEST STANDARD … right?
We do all we can to PROTECT CHILDREN. We work to expose PORN books in our public libraries and schools. We protest DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR at our libraries. The Republican Platform specifically promotes Traditional Family Values. Ever wonder why it is so hard to fix these thing??? Maybe it is because the RINOs do not want things to change!!!
By large numbers South Carolinians oppose the indoctrination of children … but our elected officials keep allowing it. In fact, recently here in Greenville, our County Council “Republicans” voted 7 to 3 (with 2 democrats – so 9 to 3) to DO NOTHING about the PORN BOOKS in our Greenville County Public Libraries. It was eye opening for SC Patriots!!!
Well, this might help everyone understand why.
A few weeks ago, the SC House Reading Clerk, a legislatively elected position, sent out the below “Christmas Party” invitation. Reportedly mailed it using the SC House membership list(s).
The Christmas Party entertainment … Patti O’Furniture … a Charleston based DRAG QUEEN.
You really can’t make this stuff up!!!!
Now granted, we really do not care what people do in private … but when you are an LEGISLATIVELY ELECTED OFFICE HOLDER … and you were ELECTED by a supermajority of REPUBLICANS … and when you have POLICY MAKING INFLUENCE (the Reading Clerk is a powerful position in the SC House) … and when you think it is OK to invite REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS to a DRAG QUEEN SHOW at your home … and worse, you support entertainers who promote DRAG EVENTS TO CHILDREN … it is time to speak up.
The elected Reading Clerk … has been there for 20 years!!! He was actually in the SC House as an elected official for 8 year prior to that!!! Do these “Republicans” not “get it”??? You can not do these things!!! Citizens look for you to be a LEADER … not a proponent of DRAG QUEENS.
But the real problem here … THEY ALL KNEW!!! Well, maybe not the newly elected officials, but all the incumbents … they tell us it has been known forever … and NOBODY said a thing before now?!?!?!
SO … why are our ELECTED “Republicans” tolerating this???
DID YOUR SC HOUSE REP SUPPORT THIS??? Did they go to the Christmas DRAG SHOW???
Find your Legislator in the SC House. CALL / EMAIL THEM!!! Ask them if they attended the Reading Clerks DRAG QUEEN Christmas Party? Has no one asked these question before??? Never in the past 20+/- years??? Let us know what you hear!!!
They ALL knew … including the SCGOP … and they turned a blind eye!!!
They failed to protect our KIDS!!! Again!!!
Spread the good word … and #PurgeTheRINOs!!!
Greenville County Property Tax Increase Battle
By MICHELLE SHUMAN, Greenville County Taxpayer Advocate (August 7, 2023): Who am I? Why am I here? What is our situation? Where do we go from here? These are the questions I want to briefly address.
I am Michelle Shuman. Some of you have seen my writings on Facebook and Nextdoor about the Greenville County property tax increase and other issues with the finances and operations of the government of Greenville County.
First, I am a child of God and I am totally out of my element. I teach preschoolers about God and His Word on Sunday so that is my comfort zone.
I am not a native, but as close to one as you can get without actually being one. My husband is a true native, born in the old Greenville General Hospital. My parents moved here in the mid 1960’s when I was only 9 months old and this became home.
I am going to give you a little bit of my life and work experience because it ties into some of what I am doing now with the County tax issue. You need to understand, I am just one of you. I am just a taxpayer seeking answers and frustrated with my government. I don’t have any special degrees or experience. My college and master’s degrees are in education.
After finishing my master’s degree, I moved to West Virginia for 5 years in the early 90’s to teach in a small Christian school near my grandparents. In the summers, I worked in a company’s accounting department where I quickly learned data entry skills and collections. Part of the collections’ duties involved research and problem solving. I moved back here in the mid 90’s and haven’t left since. I worked in healthcare briefly then began working for a real estate developer and builder. Part of my responsibility there was again data entry and spreadsheets. In particular, I entered the information so that one of the owners could keep a close watch on the costs of each individual house. He literally nickled and dimed each one, every single house. In addition, I helped with property management on some of the commercial properties including the office we were in which included moving it into a new space at one point. I’ve also worked for Nuvox Communications where I did auditing of their commissions systems as well as other work in their commissions department. Later, I would work in the commercial real estate industry where I really picked up a lot more experience with leases, sale of commercial property, zoning, codes, etc. Eventually I would end up working for a politician who is now no longer serving so now I can talk.
I bought my house in 2004 before my husband and I ever started dating. I had big dreams. It’s a cottage on a nice 1/3 acre. I wanted to make some changes. But the change in the property tax law changed all of that. If we made the changes I dreamed of, the reassessment would cause the taxes to skyrocket.
Early this past winter after we had paid off our home in the fall, my husband and I discussed that regrettably we would never really own our home because of property taxes. Another reality is if we were trying to buy a house today, the same house would be out of our price range.
When the Greenville County Council started talking about raising our property tax millage, I started thinking about the situation and what I knew about the laws and taxes. Ever since I started working in real estate the first time, I’ve watched the real estate around me. I, like I’m sure many of you, questioned if the County isn’t getting additional taxes from reassessment and all of the sales. So, I got up one Saturday morning and started researching my own street. I knew which houses had sold and even the ones that had been remodeled or had additions. That was the start of my research. All of this information is based on public records. Anyone can easily access the information.
I did the taxable values back to 2016, but I could only see the last 3 years of tax bills online. I looked at the county tax line of the property tax bills only. In 2021, the County received an addition $294.79 in taxes over what it received in 2020. In 2022, the County received an additional $1,194.34 in taxes over what it received in 2021. The increases in taxable values were $73,250 for 2020 over 2019, $362,920 for 2021 over 2020, and $628,960 for 2022 over 2021. Most of these homes are owner occupied and only two have undergone significant remodeling or additions. All other increases are either from sales or reassessment. So yes, reassessment, remodeling, and sales is making a difference in what our County gets.
I did this same exercise to see the difference in a newly developed subdivision near my home and I also looked at some new commercial properties and apartments compared to existing commercial properties and apartments. Every time the results showed that the County is getting more money from the reassessments, sales, developments, and remodeling.
Another thing I looked at was the overall property tax revenues for the County back to 2015. The previous budgets are all online on the County’s website. I looked at property tax revenue only and not any other revenue source that the County has.
The County is increasing its property tax revenues every year on the average of 4.89%. Even in the reassessment year, the increase was 3.59%. In 2015, the County took in almost $81 million. In 2022, the County took in almost $113 million. So, in 2022 the County took in $32 million more than they did in 2015. During this time there has not been a millage increase yet the amount of money taken in has still increased every single year including the reassessment year.
This information took me to asking questions and learning more information. I discovered the SC Association of Counties website. This is a great resource of information. Among the wealth of information is definitions, tables, comparisons of the State’s counties and opinions on issues. This was a great way to start checking the information that our county officials were giving us. Among the many reports on the website is a report for each year that gives each county in the state and the different taxes and fees charged in each county. The most recent information they have is for 2022 so that is the numbers we will be using.
First, what is millage? It’s just a fancy term for the way property tax rates are expressed and is written as a percent number. A mil is equal to $1 of tax per $1000 in assessed value.
Below is the breakdown for the number that the SC Association of Counties is using for its comparisons in defining “County Base Millage Rate.” In 2022, Greenville County’s base millage rate was 59 mils: County General Fund: .03930, Greenville Tech: .00500, Library: .00800, Art Museum: .00140, Debt: .00040, Charity Hospitalization: .00230, Certificates of Participation: .00100, and Solid Waste: .00170. This does not include any other entity like municipalities, school board, fire districts, sewer, etc. This number does include Greenville Tech and the Library because that is what the SC Association of Counties included. We all pay this base amount no matter where we live. In my writings, this is the number and definition I have stuck to when comparing us with other counties.
The value of one mil is an approximate value based on a percentage of the county’s total assessed value contingent upon 100% of the tax being collected. The value of a mil is important because it shows where we rank in the state as compared to the other counties based on the assessment of our properties. It is very important to note that our county tax assessor’s office sets the taxable assessed value on each property. That may or may not be market rate.
For 2022, Greenville County’s value of a mil is $2,811,527. For 2022, we are ranked second behind Charleston County which has a value of a mil of $4.7 million. Horry County is 3rd in the state at $2.7 million.
In Greenville County we have a lower millage rate, but are paying more in taxes because our assessed value is higher. All of our neighboring counties have a much lower value of a mil. This means a house appraised for $250,000 in Greenville would be considered less house than one appraised for $250,000 in another upstate county. To raise $20 million the approximate amount our County Council is seeking to raise, Anderson would need to increase their millage by 23, Pickens by 31, Oconee by 33, Laurens by 107, and Spartanburg by 130. So, when our leaders try to make it sound like we are low in our taxes compared to others, they are not telling the full story. Yes, our millage is lower, but our properties are assessed considerably higher than they would be in other counties.
Over this past weekend I was given a piece of paper by someone not on County Council. I had not seen this information before. It was something that Joe Kernell gave to the Council but was never made public. On it, Mr. Kernell gives the 2023 value of a mil for Greenville County as $2,975,570. This number is dated April 4, 2023 long before our real property tax bills will be printed. In the budget, he bases his estimates on collecting 88% of the taxes due the County. Based on this new value of a mil, this means that without the tax increase the County’s property tax revenue was estimated to go up to $126,735,477. This is an increase of $13,775,081 over the 2022 collections. With the tax increase, the revenue is estimated to go up to $145,064,988 which is an increase of $26,258,824.
To figure your property tax: the taxable appraised value is multiplied by the assessment ratio. That amount is then multiplied by the millage rate. On the County’s website, there is a table for 2022 that shows each tax district and the total millage for that district combining all taxing entities.
I listened to the budget workshop and started reading the budget. Inordinately high budget increases started jumping out at me and when I would try to find out why, there weren’t any concrete answers. I learned we don’t do zero-based budgeting. We also don’t have a true budget, not even really a spending bill as Joe Kernell is authorized to transfer money from account to account however and whenever he desires without asking the County Council thereby changing the budget. An example of this is the time when he put a $1 million crane purchase in the budget under roads. The money for a new crane was in there to reserve the money for future use. No one is sure whatever really happened to the money. He actually referred to the crane money at this year’s budget workshop. Then I looked at the Auditor’s report for 2022 and even more questions arose.
I also took the expenses that are listed on the County’s website for both the new buildings and the Halton Road building and put them in a spreadsheet. Talk about eye-opening. Here is where I discovered we spent just under $60,000 on water bottles, coffee cups, and coffee tumblers alone. This exercise also showed how sloppy things are entered into the website. Whether it was accidental or intentional so we wouldn’t know the whole truth, I don’t know, but in an organization that size there is no excuse for the sloppiness.
A lot of my writing came in direct response to things that were said on the news and in meetings by our county officials.
I’ve had multiple people reach out to me in private to give me information or to tell me where to look. I don’t reveal my sources.
There remains a pile of questions to ask and information to sort through. There are still all of the questions I’ve asked that need to be answered.
This same research really needs to be done for each governing entity within our county.
Yes, we lost the vote on the property taxes, the battle. But we are in a war which we have to continue to fight and win. Now is the time to start working on replacing these people who voted against the tax payer. Our county government must become more open. We must put pressure on them to put more things online. They must stop giving money away to special interests. Just because it sounds good doesn’t mean we the tax payer should be paying for it. You can look for the roads to come up again soon in the form of another tax – probably either a sales tax or an additional road maintenance fee. You can also look for a discussion on the Triumph Soccer Stadium. Is the money hidden in the budget? Probably, but where? Only Joe Kernell knows for sure. We must not continue to allow the citizens to have a short memory. We must continually remind them. My goal is to continue to write on issues and keep reminding people so that we don’t forget before the local election cycle starts next year.
You can watch Mrs. Shuman’s presentation below –
Greenville County website: www.greenvillecounty.org
The South Carolina Association of Counties website: www.sccounties.org)
Controlled Opposition … Does It Exist?
The concept will require you to re-examine everything you believe.
We can’t take credit for the above image, it is from a Facebook post yesterday (HERE) by our friends at Palmetto State Watch … but the concept of “Controlled Opposition” is one of the most important in our entire political process.
Remember, “NOTHING is what it seems in Politics.“ In fact, it is important to understand that many things in politics are exactly the opposite of what they appear to be.
Controlled opposition has happened throughout history, for thousands of years, and it is most assuredly happening today. When someone tells you times are different now … run away!!! History repeats, and it always will … that is just part of the human condition.
Controlled Opposition: a strategy in which an individual, organization, or movement is covertly controlled or influenced by a 3rd party and the controlled entity’s true purpose is something other than its publicly stated purpose.
The controlled entity serves a role of mass deception, surveillance and/or political/social manipulation. In most cases the controlled party is portrayed as being in opposition to the interests of the controlling party.
“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.”
– Vladimir Lenin
Challenge Yourself, Think!!!
- Do we have any controlled opposition in SC?
- “Who” do you think it is?
- What is the solution?
1) Do we have any controlled opposition in SC? Easy answer … YES, of course we do!!!
Although it may be an effective tactic, we don’t believe in it. We in fact want to teach people about it so you are able to identify this mental manipulation when it is being used against us … and used against you! We must expose it to stop it.
But think about it, there are bad people in this world. Don’t you think they would take the “easy route” and lie, cheat or steal to get what they want? It is easy to undermine causes … and the best way to do that is from within. Too many “strange” things happen to thwart mission for it not to exist.
2) “Who” do you think it is? Folks might not be ready to handle our theories on “who”, but you should consider anyone as potential controlled opposition.
Know too, that sometimes the controlled opposition don’t even know they are the controlled opposition. They are basically good people with good intentions … but misled by others (knowingly or unknowingly) for nefarious purposes.
Consider too, one bad person can mislead a good person, who in turn misleads another good person, and so on, and so on and so on. It gets “deep”. Show a little grace as these people are victims as well.
Our simple litmus tests to identify “controlled opposition”:
- The number one indicator, people / groups that REFUSE to come to the table to discuss matters openly and honestly. Ask yourself, what do they have to hide that would prevent them from simply discussing matters? We ask people to “talk” all the time … and some flat refuse.
- A second indicator, pull their SLED report. There are certain personality types that are willing to deceive, and many have criminal backgrounds, either from their youth … and some more recently. We are all about 2nd chances and rehabilitation … but seriously?
- A third test, “ladder climbers”. These are your politicians and others that want title and position … higher and higher office … and most are willing to do just about anything to get it. They rationalize doing small (in their minds) “bad things” today so that they can attain higher positions so they can do big (in their minds) “good things” tomorrow. They tell themselves they need to compromise on X bad thing today so they can become “Governor” and do Y good thing tomorrow. That is a slippery slope that never works. If they will compromise to get a position … what will they compromise once they have the position and want to keep it. Beware the “ladder climbers”.
3) What’s the solution?
Again, and easy answer – TRUST NO ONE! Citizens need to learn to question everything. Stop blindly trusting folks just because they use to be “good”, or they are a “friend”, or they say the things you want to hear. Check sources and verify everything yourself!!! Know that nothing is as it appears in politics, and it’s often the opposite. As we teach, “Watch what they DO, not what they SAY!”
And always, #FollowTheMoney!!!
“Think for yourself, or others will think for you without thinking about you.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Controlled Opposition is a challenging concept. It will require you to re-examine everything you believe. But, what do you have to lose? If you are wrong in your beliefs, don’t you want to know it? Why go through all this work and effort … if the reality is you are in fact aiding your own enemy.
Open Letter to Chairman Drew McKissick
Will you help unite us and work together?
Dear Chairman McKissick,
Congratulations on securing your 4th term as Chairman of the SCGOP. It was an exciting state convention last Saturday and the energy was exhilarating. That enthusiasm can only grow and unite our Republican Party if we work together.
528 days … that is all we have until the November 5th, 2024 elections. Many of us believe these elections will be our last chance to save our country. I am not that pessimistic, but we can all certainly agree that it is a critical election.
We need South Carolina united. We need to focus legislatively for the betterment of life for the citizens of South Carolina. Most importantly we need to focus on the “Battleground States” in the November 5th, 2024 elections if we want to return the White House to The People.
16 votes, that is all that determined the leadership of the SCGOP for the next two years. Out of 927 state delegates … 51.8% for, 48.2% against. Our party is divided. Our presidential candidates do not want this division, nor do our elected officials.
Will you help unite us and work together? Will you help lead the SCGOP in a manner that will best serve The People of South Carolina?
Mr. Chairman, you and I have never spoken with each other. I and others stand ready to work together to serve the great State of South Carolina and our citizens. Our personal skill sets are different. Together we can take South Carolina to the next level. Seize this opportunity with us!
We look forward to hearing from you and meeting soon.
Educate ✅ Motivate✅ Activate ✅
Jeff Davis, JD, MBA, CPA(GA)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Jeff Davis is co-founder of mySCGOP.com and in 2021 was elected Chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party. Jeff is a ’89 graduate of The Citadel and in 1993 received his Law/MBA from USC. A tax attorney / CPA licensed in Georgia, Jeff is an uncompromised school choice advocate for K-12 children with special needs. Originally from Charleston, and having practiced in Atlanta, Jeff and his wife Olga now live in Greenville. Jeff currently completed his two year term as Greenville County Republican Party Chairman and was elected to serve as GCRP State Executive Committeeman.
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