Half cent sales tax referendum gets another chance

Half cent sales tax referendum gets another chance
August 02 20:01 2016 Print This Article

The third reading for the 0.5% sales tax increase referendum for improvement of Charleston County roads be held by County Council on August 9.  This tax will raise $2.1 billion dollars over 25 years. Adding 0.5% to the sales tax will increase the Charleston County sales tax rate to 9.0%, the highest in the state. The following are projects proposed for use of the sales tax money:

  • Improvements of the Airport Road Area
  • Widening of Dorchester Road from Michaux Parkway to the County Line Improvements at the Intersection of Main Road and US 17
  • Ongoing Resurfacing Bike and Pedestrian Facilities,Paving Roads, and Improving Intersections Widening of Glenn McConnell Parkway
  • Improvements for James Island Intersections
  • Re-alignment of Northside Drive at Ashley Phosphate Road Improvements for Rural Roads
  • Improvements for Savannah Highway, Ashley River Bridges, and Crosstown Congestion Improvements for SC 41 from US 17 to the Wando Bridge
  • Improvements for US 78
  • Bus Rapid Transit System along I-26 from Summerville to Charleston
  • Green Spaces

$609 million is allotted for the mass transit and $125 million for green spaces with no specific projects mentioned. What is missing from this list is the extension of I-526. The above list was approved at the first reading on July 19. Then it was voted down on July 21. There was disagreement among council members over the funding of the extension of I-526. A second reading revived the referendum on July 27. A third reading approval is need to make the August 15 deadline to get the referendum on the November 8 ballot. There has been speculation that amendments will be made.