It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Or in this case the gift that keeps on taking!
The Richland County Penny Tax Program is back in the news in a big way.And as usual, it’s not good news.
Passed in 2012, in an election year in which many Richland County residents stood in longer than usual lines and some didn’t even get to cast a ballot thanks to the ineptness of the Richland County Election Commission, the program has been controversial since day one.
Many speculate that the districts that seemed most against its passage were the ones where the lines were longest and we saw the most voter disenfranchisement.
Now, in the span of the last few weeks we’ve seen a flurry of stories about it and the news just keeps getting worse.
This week we learned that one county council member fired off a letter to both the AG and the US Attorney’s offices demanding an investigation into potential illegal goings on concerning some former and maybe current council members not related to this program. But he also speculates that there may have been unethical behavior when it came to the implementation of it.
That same councilman now has let the cat out of the bag relating to an audit done concerning the management of the program by a consortium of private companies known as the Program Development Team or PDT.
All we know is that the audit showed “significant deficiencies” in how it’s been managed. But that’s all we know, as each council member was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement before being allowed to see it. And they agreed to it!
Now that the word is out many are rushing to say the audit should be made public. I guess so!Taxpayers are paying for the Penny Tax Program and paid for the audit itself. You paid for it – you should see it. Until then we’ll just have to assume the worst as to what it contains, which is par for the course when it comes to this bunch.