Beaufort voters to decide on sales tax increase to pay for road improvements

Updated: Jul. 18, 2018 at 12:51 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Beaufort County is considering a one cent sales tax increase in order to fund future road improvement projects.

With more people moving and traveling through Beaufort County, officials say several roads and bridges are needing some improvement.

But, in order to pay for these projects, the county is hoping to generate money by a one cent sales tax increase.

The revenue would last four years and fund around $120 million worth of road improvement projects.

One of the projects includes using $80 million to improve a section of Highway 278 between Moss Creek Drive and Squire Pope Road. It could also help repair parts of the bridges heading toward Hilton Head Island.

Another project would include spending $30 million on traffic improvements on Lady's Island, specifically the Woods Memorial Bridge and the Chowan Creek Bridge.

"Because it's the only path on and off the Sea Islands and the considerable amount of growth in Beaufort County and congestion, we need to address in a proactive way how we can get traffic through that area," Beaufort County Engineering Division Director Robert McFee said.

County officials would also like to use the remaining $10 million on sidewalk and pathway improvements throughout the county.

In order to raise the sales tax, Beaufort County voters have to approve it. The referendum will be on the November ballot.

For those wanting more information, there will be two open meetings to discuss the possible projects.

The first meeting will be Wednesday, July 18, at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Head High School Cafeteria. The second meeting will be on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Bluffton Branch Library at 6 p.m.

Beaufort County residents are welcome to stop by the meetings to learn more about each individual project.

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