Republican "Yankee Tax" proposal goes to South Carolina Senate

Republican legislator Stephen Goldfinch explained that his intention is to use those payments for community spaces throughout the state.

Republican state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch proposed a bill to make new residents coming to the Palmetto State pay up to $500 to put that money toward improving the state's infrastructure.

Under the "Yankee Tax" legislative proposal, when people from out-of-state come to South Carolina, they will have to pay two one-time fees: a $250 fee to obtain a new driver's license and a $250 fee to register their cars.

The Republican senator explained that the money collected from this tax will be used for roads, bridges and other community spaces in the state.

"I’m not trying to build a wall and this is not a fee against new residents it’s a fee for people to catch up with the rest of us. I think there’s a rational basis for requiring newcomers to catch up with the rest of us and contribute to the roads, bridges, schools and green spaces that we’ve [residents] always contributed to," he said.

This project came about after millions of people opted to move to Palmetto over the last decade, especially during the pandemic because of the low taxes, labor flexibility and the warm weather the state offers.

"Our quality of life has been diminished by the almost 4 million people that have moved here in the last decade. And we anticipate another million people moving here in the next decade. Everybody is concerned about their quality of life,” said the senator.

The new resident fee bill will be debated in the full South Carolina Senate in the next few days and if passed the counties will also vote on it in the 2024 general election.