Limited Taxation
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CLT Update
Wednesday, April 7, 1999

Our effort continues to point out and remind taxpayers just who the reimbursement money from the state's $7.6 billion share of the "tobacco settlement" belongs to. Like Diogenes searching for that one honest man, we have been looking for one honest state attorney general.

I'm happy to announce that we have found one!

The following is a refreshingly candid excerpt from the statement of Charles M. Condon, Attorney General of South Carolina, concerning his state's agreement on the tobacco settlement.

Chip Ford --

Statement on the Tobacco Settlement
By Attorney General Charles M. Condon

November 20, 1998

As all of you know, the United States Congress failed to achieve a settlement of a lawsuit against the five leading tobacco companies of America. After negotiations in Washington ended abruptly, a number of states then attempted to achieve what the federal government was unable to do.

In that context, I have been working with a large group of state attorneys general in negotiating a settlement directly with the tobacco companies to reimburse the states for the cost of tobacco-related illnesses. Today, after months of effort, we have a proposed settlement on the table.


As Attorney General, my legal role largely ends with that acceptance. It is now up to the Governor and to the General Assembly to decide whether to trigger the legislative mechanisms required and what to do with the funds received.

However, as counsel to the State of South Carolina, I feel a responsibility to make a recommendation of principle in the strongest terms possible.

These funds -- the $2.2 billion dollars designated for South Carolina -- are reimbursements -- reimbursements to the taxpayers of our state for dollars already spent.

It would be a terrible injustice if those funds were used to pay for more government programs and more bureaucracy or to grow the government in any way.

Therefore, in making this announcement, I would also like to issue a direct challenge to Governor-elect Jim Hodges. My challenge is this: Will you join me in supporting the use of these funds only for the purpose of giving tax relief to the people of South Carolina and not for more government spending?

Let's give this money back to the taxpayers. That could take the form of car tax relief, income tax relief for seniors or simply a scheduled rebate to all taxpayers. The point is we should pledge this money to tax relief only.

I hope Governor-elect Hodges will join me in making that pledge without equivocation.

--- End of Statement ---

Click below for the full text of Attorney General Condon's statement:

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