County council introduces early tax renewal for November ballot

  • Thursday, May 8, 2014

Berkeley County voters could see the option to renew the county’s one-cent sales tax used for transportation on the ballot this November.

The tax is scheduled to end in 2015, but under current law, voters could not vote on extending the tax until 2016 — creating a $15 million lag in collections, according to County Supervisor Dan Davis.

Earlier this year, the county’s legislative delegation introduced a bill that will allow county governments to extend their transportation sales taxes prior to their seven-year expiration. The bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House’s Ways and Means committee.

During the April 28 meeting, county council gave first reading to an ordinance that would draft the referendum to appear on the 2014 general election ballot. Council also gave first reading to a dependent ordinance: if the sales tax is extended, Berkeley County will terminate its transportation impact fees for businesses.

In an interview earlier this year with the Independent, Sen. Larry Grooms said the county’s promise to abolish the transportation impact fees was the major reason why he and the rest of the delegation supported the early renewal of the one-cent sales tax.

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