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South Carolina lawmaker proposes 'Yankee tax' as northerners flock to state in droves

South Carolina state Senator Stephen Goldfinch proposed a bill that could require out of state movers to pay up to $500 in taxes

South Carolina state Senator Stephen Goldfinch proposed a bill, dubbed the "Yankee tax," that would require new residents to pay up to $500 to move to the Palmetto State. 

If passed by state referendum, new residents moving from out-of-state to South Carolina would be required to pay two one-time fees, $250 for new driver’s licenses and $250 for vehicle registrations.

Sen. Goldfinch shared with Fox News Digital that the proposal is not trying to stop people from coming from out of state, just for new residents to "catch up with the rest of us."

"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," Goldfinch told Fox News Digital. 

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The money raised from the additional $250 tax would go towards the state's infrastructure including roads, bridges, and common community spaces. 

"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," Goldfinch shared with Fox News Digital.

His proposal comes after droves of people from the northeast have moved down to South Carolina in recent years. According to the U.S. Census, nearly half a million people moved to the Palmetto state in the past decade.

People flocked to the southeast during the pandemic and stayed due to a host of reason including work flexibility, lower taxes, and warmer weather. 

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Sen. Goldfinch points to South Carolina residents as inspiration for the bill. 

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

Despite the tax to newcomers, Sen. Goldfinch shared that he doubts the add $250 or $500 will discourage people to move to South Carolina.

"I find it hard to believe that $250 is going to dissuade anybody from coming." Goldfinch shared with Fox News Digital. 

The New Resident fee referendum will be available for debate on the South Carolina Senate floor next week, Goldfinch shared. If passed, counties will vote on it in their general elections in 2024.

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South Carolina isn't the only state with similar legislation on their ballots. California and New York proposed legislation to tax people leaving the state.

"If you can charge people to leave, I don't see any reason why you can't charge somebody to come in the door." Goldfinch stated.. 

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