We feel the General Assembly should develop a plan to repair
and upgrade our aging highway system.
We would request one of the General Assembly’s priorities be on the
improvement and modernization of rural bridges and road. As we move our state’s main port to bigger
more modern ships we also need to improve our roads so our state’s number 1
industry can get goods and materials to the port for export.
The budgets of several state agencies that work with the
agricultural community are very important to Farm Bureau. We support funding for Clemson PSA, the
Forestry Commission, Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture.
When the General Assembly passed the legislation to increase
the cigarette tax, it made a promise to the agricultural industry of five million
dollars for the SC Department of Agriculture in order to sustain the Marketing
and Branding of SC Grown commodities.
Unfortunately the funds received fall short of what was promised. The SC Grown initiative has been a great
investment by the state and 5 million dollars was the General Assembly’s
strategy to keep this program viable until the General Fund could sustain a
strong recurring appropriation to this great program. We would request the General Assembly fulfill
the promise of 5 million dollars and secure a recurring appropriation to the
Department of Agriculture for this critical program.
As the General Assembly continues to look at tax reform, we
ask them to not hurt agribusiness in this process. We will continue to work with the General
Assembly and the Department of Revenue to restructure the process in which
merchants verify the eligibility of bonafide farmers receiving exemptions on
sales tax and receiving agriculture/forestland classification.
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