On Friday, Limehouse angrily denied that the proviso is essentially a tax on city parking services. “That’s not true,” Limehouse told Palmetto Public Record. “It has nothing to do with [city-owned facilities].”
While Limehouse is correct on a semantic level, the proviso clearly takes a big chunk out of city parking revenue. If cities like Charleston are forced to raise their rates to cover the difference, private parking lots can keep theirs the same — undercutting city facilities, attracting more customers and making more money.
Why is this a problem? Limehouse just happens to own a parking company that manages over two dozen private parking lots and garages in Charleston. Pretty convenient, right?
But don’t worry, Limehouse said the proviso wouldn’t financially benefit himself because he doesn’t own the lots and garages that his company manages. So he wouldn’t be making money personally, just making money for his business partners. What could go wrong?
Limehouse called the insinuation that he could benefit from the budget proviso “insulting.” But based on the evidence, it seems the only thing being insulted is the intelligence of the people he asks to believe otherwise.
These aren’t the only allegations of undue influence being leveled at Limehouse. FITSNews reported a few weeks ago that Limehouse’s father, former state Transportation Secretary Buck Limehouse, is “actively campaigning” for a seat on the Medical University of South Carolina’s board of trustees. As chairman of the Ways & Means subcommittee which oversees the MUSC board, Chip Limehouse would have tremendous influence on the seat his father is seeking.
In addition to the familial conflict of interest, Buck Limehouse has worked for the Southern Strategy lobbying group since November. Although he says he’s not actually a lobbyist, sources tell Palmetto Public Record the elder Limehouse maintains a frequent presence in the State House lobby. On top of that, the Southern Strategy Group’s own website lists him among its stable of influence peddlers: