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Lawmaker proposes $250 fee for people who move to South Carolina

Sen. Stephen Goldfinch pre-filed a bill that he says would offset the cost of growth in South Carolina by proposing a $250 fee for new residents.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — South Carolina's known for its Southern hospitality, but for folks looking to call the Palmetto State home, that might come with a price. 

Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, a Republican who represents Georgetown County, pre-filed a bill ahead of January's legislative session that would impose a fee for people moving to South Carolina. Goldfinch's bill would allow individual counties to approve or reject a $250 fee for new South Carolina residents. 

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New residents would be charged when they get a South Carolina driver's license. The money would be used for public education expenses, infrastructure and preserving green space. Goldfinch says the bill would help offset the cost of growth that South Carolina taxpayers have been responsible for paying. 

About 4.6 million people lived in South Carolina in 2010, according to census data. That number grew to more than 5.1 million by 2020. With more growth expected, Goldfinch told WYFF it's only right for new residents to pay for what they use

"We have to pay for all those things prior to the person from New York moving down here," he said. "We have to be prepared for them to move down and so we have to put our own money first into the community to pay for those schools, those roads and those bridges before they even get here and I find that to be totally unfair. Totally and completely unfathomable and unfair, but it's necessary."

The bill won't be up for discussion until lawmakers reconvene in Columbia on Jan. 10. 

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