With a 12 percent unemployment rate in Lancaster County, what will you do to promote job growth and bring industry and business to the area?
• Mick Mulvaney said, "Right now, our property tax scheme is chasing folks away. We know the three things that are the albatross around their necks: They need tort reform, workers' compensation help and property tax relief. When businesses look at us from out of state, those are the first places they look."
• Mandy Powers Norrell wants to create green energy jobs by producing wind turbines in Lancaster and elsewhere. "This solves two problems: Jobs and energy production," she said. "With our manufacturing base (of former textile employees), if we could build these turbines and ship them out of the port in Charleston, we could be a world leader. We could also create our own energy."
The cigarette tax in South Carolina is 7 cents, the lowest in the nation. Do you support an additional cigarette tax of 50 cents per pack?
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• Mick Mulvaney said 50 cents goes too far. He voted for a 30-cent increase last year. "That would keep us at or below the surrounding states. It would also have to be contingent on not using the money to grow government."
• Mandy Powers Norrell said she favors a 38-cent increase that would keep prices in line with those in North Carolina. "Border counties have to be a little bit careful in terms of competing with North Carolina. I do like an increase in the cigarette tax, as long as the proceeds are used for health care and to prevent people from smoking in the future."
Do you support school vouchers, which provide tax credits to families who send their children to private schools?
• Mick Mulvaney said, "I see vouchers as part and parcel of the overall choice package. You want to send your kid to the local Christian school, the local Montessori or the regular mainline school? Those are three choices that I think are all valid in South Carolina. Or should be."
• Mandy Powers Norrell said, "It's taking public money and giving it to private schools. I don't think it will help. Mick Mulvaney said this is to help poor children. Well, the average private school tuition is $10,000. Vouchers would pay about $4,000. Poor children's families can't pay the difference."