According to Spartanburg County Council District 6 Representative Roger A. Nutt, county residents have been paying twice for services and have been shorted $20 million by the State of South Carolina.

"For those of us fortunate enough to live in Spartanburg County," explained Nutt in a newsletter to constituents. "It means that over the last 5 years we have been shorted over $20 million. That is $20 million that you paid in taxes to the state and, since we must provide the services, you have also paid it to the County. You have essentially paid twice for the same services."

Nutt continued, "Now, instead of upgrading our infrastructure or helping our employees with the costs of living or giving you a tax break, we are having to use all of that money to pay for the services that you have already paid for."

Nutt explained what's going on:

"This is a fairly complicated issue, but the bottom line is this: The state mandates that the counties provide certain services. The people pay for those services through various state taxes (i.e., sales tax)," he wrote.

According to the current law, the state is required to send at least 4.5 percent of its general fund budget each year back to the counties to pay for the services.

"The law is so restrictive, that it requires the state to, under no circumstance, ever decrease the amount from the previous year. The only way they can get around this is to make a separate legislation each year for the sole purpose of adjusting that number. This makes it impossible to just 'hide' it in some legislation so no one can find it. The problem is that every year since 2009 the state legislature has done just that – they have just decided to give us what they feel is appropriate without regard to the real costs of their decision. Bottom line: The law is not being followed, and it has now become the norm for our state."

So in South Carolina, whoever has the most lobbyists wins? Really?

Rep. Eddie Tallon (R) told the council that the reason they were not getting their money was the local government fund subcommittee was not getting information from their lobbyist.

"I don't want to depend on the Association of Counties to sell our story," one councilman said. "If the federal government was doing the same thing to the State of South Carolina saying we are not going to fund you like we said we would do, we'd be screaming and yelling."

Nutt said, "I am very concerned that we have a committee where their default position is not to follow the law. It's almost like you have to come to the throne and ask for money that has been mandated, but you already spent. I think it's outrageous."

"If we have a system where we set the Constitution aside, start with a clean slate and have everyone come in and beg for money and the one who has the best representation wins is outrageous," said Nutt.

It's hypocritical for Republicans to criticize President Obama for not following the law when Republicans refuse to follow the law in their own state. (In SC, Republicans control the house, senate and Governor's mansion)

Apparently this is happening in other counties across the State and possibly across the U.S.

Nutt encourages citizens to contact their representatives and let them know that taxpayers refuse to pay twice for the same services.

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