CARE: Majority doesn't support sales tax referendum in Beaufort - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

CARE: Majority doesn't support sales tax referendum in Beaufort Co.

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Beaufort County residents are one step closer to paying a higher tax for your everyday purchases.

Over the weekend, the school board voted to put the sales tax referendum on the November ballot. The school district is asking taxpayers to give up one cent for every dollar you spend in Beaufort County.

“The latest U.S. Census results show Beaufort County is the 12th fastest growing communities in the country. That means, for us, over the next 10 years, three thousand additional students. We have to find somewhere to put those students and we also have to make sure are preserved and taken care of,” said Jim Foster, Beaufort County School District.

The school board crunched the numbers and majority decided that a one-cent sales tax increase would be the best way to pay for those costs.

But at what cost to taxpayers?

Citizens Advocating Responsible Education, or CARE, went on a three day listening tour across the county to find out what residents thought about paying the extra money.

“We have feedback from about 200 people or so,” said Richard Bisi, CARE.

And of those 200 people, CARE says the majority doesn’t support the sales tax.

“Saturday’s work session was only the second time that this full board has discussed a very critical issue. They discussed it back on February 1st and again this past Saturday. Those were the only two times that the entire board has discussed this critical issue and yet they saw fit, with about five members of the public there on a Saturday, to go ahead and approve it,” said Bisi.

The district says they’re giving the taxpayers a chance to make the final decision.  

“There will be many community meetings so that the tax payers in Beaufort County will get the information they need to make the best decision,” said Foster.

In the meantime, CARE says it will give the school board a more detailed explanation of its findings Tuesday at the meeting.

The district says if voters don’t approve the sales tax, they school board will increase the district debt service millage to pay for the capital projects.

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