South Carolina - governor disappears, maybe its time to slip through a cigarette tax..

June 22, 2009 - The whereabouts of Gov. Mark Sanford was unknown for nearly four days, and some state leaders question who was in charge of the executive office.

South Carolina is the only state in the nation that has failed to pass a recent cigarette excise tax increase. Currently the state has the shameful distinction of having the nation's lowest state cigarette tax, at 7 cents a pack, where it's been since 1977 (32 years). The national average for states is $1.27 a pack.

In 2008, the legislature passed a bill that would have raised the tax to 47 cents a pack. But Gov. Mark Sanford vetoed it, and lawmakers sustained his veto. Sanford has vowed to veto any bill that doesn't offset a cigarette tax increase with a cut in taxes.

Sanford has displayed outlandish behavior in the past, most notably in 2004 when he released live pigs in the state House chamber to protest pork barrel spending. Maybe the governor has given up on his state and is now concentrating on his presidential campaign.

According to our records the 118th South Carolina General Assembly is in session as of June 16, 2009.

Click on image to enlarge; image of Governor Mark Sanford..

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