Who Is Behind the Midlands (SC) Tax Increase Group?

Say NO on tax increases!Socialists in Richland County, South Carolina, are at it again with a push for another tax increase. They support increasing the sales tax rate, an additional one percent, for what they claim will be improvements to roads, the public transit system, and more jobs. (Don’t get me started on that BS!)

A similar push, in neighboring Kershaw County, was voted down in the last elections. It was discovered that an officer from First Palmetto Savings Bank, and a local CPA from Cantey, Tiller, Pierce, Green, CPAs, were behind the tax increase campaign.

Now, let’s peel back the layers of the “Citizens for a Greater Midlands” organization, to see just who these “citizens” are who are pushing the latest tax increase.

Before we go any further, it should be noted that the organization’s website domain was purchased through another company, in what seems to be an effort to keep the identities of those involved a secret (the officers/staff are not listed on the website, either). We also noticed that same type of thing, with the previous Kershaw County folks who pushed for a tax increase.

These folks want to take your money, but they don’t want you to know who they are? That doesn’t seem right. If they believe strongly in the tax increase, why don’t they show their faces and publicly say so?

They don’t own up to their activities, because tax increases are not popular—no matter what local officials and news media have to say about it. Asking for a tax increase, to give more money to government—when everyone else is struggling with high unemployment, and living paycheck to paycheck—is bordering on insanity, or extreme arrogance and disregard.

Checking documents filed with the South Carolina Ethics Commission, I feel that the group is nothing more than a facade, put on the map by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce—who contributed $33,000 in initial funding to get the group started, back in August of 2010. Yes, according to the paperwork, the group has been in the works for over two years.

I have to say that their slogan, “Our Penny,” has got to be the greatest socialist slogan I’ve ever seen. To me, it’s basically saying: “Your wealth is OUR wealth, and you shouldn’t be allowed to keep it all to yourself.” That’s how the greedy, socialist, entitlement mentality works.

According to the Ethics Commission documents, the organization’s officers are:


Mitchell Willoughby

P.O. Box 8416

Columbia, SC 29202

Occupation – Attorney

Columbia, SC



Terry K. Schmoyer, Jr.

1330 Lady Street, Suite 507

Columbia, SC 29201

Occupation – CPA

Columbia, SC


Custodian of Books & Accounts

Doug Bridges

1711 Gervais St.

Columbia, SC 29201

Occupation – Realtor

Columbia, SC


These are the “citizens” who are working to steal another 1% in sales taxes from your wallet. If you are doing business with them, I would encourage you to find new business partners.

And what is with the seeming trend of attorney’s, CPAs and real estate folks in the mix behind tax increases, these days? I have to wonder if either of those types would be involved if there wasn’t some type of gain to be made. Time will tell, I guess. It’s one of those things that makes you say, “Hmmmm….”

In addition, according to the SC Ethics Commission’s website the organization has not filed any quarterly reports since the initial paperwork was entered into the record. It is my understanding that these reports are mandatory, and there is a $100-per-day penalty for not filing paperwork by the deadline. If that’s the case, it looks like someone is going to be coughing up a considerable amount of dough for messing up.

Would you really want to do business with a CPA, attorney or real estate agent who couldn’t be bothered to file important paperwork on time? Not good business, in my opinion, but Columbia Mayor Benjamin, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and (of course) The State newspaper—who never saw a tax increase they didn’t like, as far as I can tell—endorse the group. I wonder if they know, or even care.

So, what did the organization do with the initial $33,000 that was given by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce? No one knows—other than seeing support signs blanketing the Midlands—because there have been no disclosures.

To me, this doesn’t look to be a “citizen’s” group, at all. In my opinion, it looks more like a small group of fat cats who want to get fatter through their political ties—and your tax money.

It’s not “our” penny. It’s certainly not their penny. It’s YOUR penny. Stop them from taking it from you.

The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of WordPress.com.


5 Responses to “Who Is Behind the Midlands (SC) Tax Increase Group?”

  1. 1 Gaia2Joe
    November 2, 2012 at 3:53 PM


    Direct Dial: (803) 771-2121
    Fax: (803) 256-8062

    Originally from Mullins, South Carolina, Mitch has been practicing law for over 30 years. He received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his law degree from the University of South Carolina.

    Formerly a staff counsel with the South Carolina Public Service Commission, Mitch has also served on the boards of the S.C. Baptist Hospital and Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and currently sits on the board of First Community Bank. He is a certified arbitrator by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and American Arbitration Association (AAA). Mitch also served in the U.S. Army and retired as a Brigadier General from the S.C. National Guard in 2005.

    Mitch is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of South Carolina and the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits.

  2. 2 Gaia2Joe
    November 2, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Terry Schmoyer is President and Managing Partner of Schmoyer and Company, LLC, a full service public accounting firm located in Columbia. He has over 20 years of public accounting experience in auditing (including HUD), business consulting, tax planning and related services, healthcare accounting and consulting, as well as Medicaid and Medicare cost report preparation and audit appeal representation.

    Active in the community, Terry chairs the Logistics Committee for the American Heart Walk of the Midlands and serves as Treasurer of Communities in Schools of the Midlands. He also serves on the Budget and Finance Committee of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the Payment for Services Committee of the South Carolina Health Care Association and on the boards of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Ben Lippen booster Club and the Delta Upsilon Fraternity Alumni Corporation.

    Terry is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (SCACPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

  3. 3 Gaia2Joe
    November 2, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    About Doug….
    40 Year Member of the
    Columbia Board of Realtors Circle of Excellence

    ”Since 1972 Doug Bridges has been a leader in real estate sales in Columbia, SC.”

    Today Doug says that he is “extremely excited about today’s real estate industry. New technology and communication vehicles have enabled me to take my service level to customers to a higher level than ever before.” Doug’s expertise, knowledge and experience is put to its highest use in helping his clients make informed real estate decisions in today’s market.

    Serving Richland and Lexington County residents for 39 years, Doug is known for his outstanding service, follow-up and care for each individual client.

    Doug has two sons. Douglas, his oldest son, is a Certified Financial Planner with VALIC in Asheville, NC. Doug’s youngest son, Guy, completed 6 years in the United States Navy with two deployments to the Middle East and is now a Junior at the University of South

    Doug is a major contributor to the Columbia Community as he is currently serving as:

    1. Board of Directors Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce
    2. Board Member, Northeast Council Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce
    3. Member Richland County Transportation Committee
    4. 40 Year member Columbia Board of Realtors
    5. Life Member Citadel Association of Graduates

  4. 4 Gaia2Joe
    November 2, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    So, all three are on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce. Any questions?

  5. 5 Liberty Dog
    November 2, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Can you pass on some of your research into the identities of the conspirators behind the drive for a sales tax increase in Kershaw County? The Chamber of Commerce is involved, I know, because they held a couple of rallies for the tax disguised as objective “voter education” events. Pennysforprogress.net is the URL for the pro-tax website, but there is no information on the site about who is behind it. The domain is registered to a company called “Domains By Proxy, LLC” in Arizona. If you can get me some leads, I will write an editorial exposing the people behind it and get it published in The Elgin News.

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