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Both referendums on Beaufort Co. ballots did not pass

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 3:47 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Beaufort County saw an increase in the number of people coming to the polls on Election Day.

There were two referendums on the ballot for Beaufort County voters, and they both didn’t pass. That doesn’t mean nothing changes though. Specifically thanks to the 1 percent local option sales tax not going through.

We’ve got to go back to 2018 to understand why. That’s when a similar transportation sales tax was approved. It increased the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent and made about $120 million. That’s set to expire soon, meaning the sales tax rate will go back down to 6 percent.

“Currently Beaufort county has a 7 percent sales tax based on the passing of a 2018 transportation penny tax on yesterday, voters decided not to pass the LOST tax that would’ve given property tax credit and raise money for municipalities. what that means is the sales tax will drop back to 6 percent hopefully here by thanksgiving,” said Chris Ophardt, Public Information Officer for Beaufort County.

As far as voter turnout goes, over 20,000 people voted in Beaufort County Tuesday, which is just over a 14 percent turnout rate. The last two off-year elections saw 10 and 8 percent turnout in 2019 and 2017 respectively, so at the very least, public involvement in elections is improving.

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