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Beaufort Co. council will vote on proposed sales tax increase

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:40 PM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 6:55 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - An additional 1% sales tax could lead to almost three quarters of a billion dollars for transportation-based improvements all across Beaufort County.

A citizen transportation advisory committee decided 700 million dollars collected over 10 years through this penny tax would be enough to do some serious good.

Throughout their 11 meetings, there was one main question at hand.

“In the near horizon, 5-10 years, what would this community need transportation wise?” Robert Mcfee, Citizen Transportation Advisory Committee said.

Jared Fralix was the county’s liaison for the citizen group, and he recognizes the urgency of traffic issues in this area.

“We’ve got an infrastructure need. We all recognize that we have a growing population and we’ve got already some needs locally,” Mcfee said.

That feeling’s backed up by Mcfee, who says the committee wants to get out ahead of future problems as well.

“There’s not a city of any significance that doesn’t have issues with traffic, and there’s a reason for that and we’re trying to avoid that,” Mcfee said.

A recommendation will now be put to county council on how to spend this potential 700 million dollars, that both parties agree is well balanced.

“Half of it is specific projects, so big projects like SC 170 and other specific projects throughout the county, the second half is more general,” Jared Fralix, Assistant County Administrator of Engineering said.

The SC 170 project he just mentioned is the most expensive of the specific ones outlined in the proposal, followed by the US 21 improvements that will be allotted $75 million.

This recommendation has 13 spending points beyond those two ranging from mass transit improvements to general road pavements.

This plan will soon be put in front of county council and if passed there will move onto the department of revenue at the state, in order to be added to the ballot in November as a referendum.

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