After several public meetings about the 1% Sales tax, I have learned the following:
This Sales Tax affects all of Beaufort County. It’s equitable and transparent. Tourists and commuters will pay 51% of revenues. Beaufort County can receive $4 from Federal-State funds for every dollar we raise; it expires in four years, or until our share is raised, whichever comes first; it only applies to specified roads, bridges and community pathways … new infrastructure lasting 30-40-50 years into the future.
Why so urgent? If this doesn’t pass, we forfeit substantial Federal & State funds and we can’t repeat this Referendum until 2022, pushing improvements another 10-12 years ahead. We won’t alleviate congestion, accident rates, commute times, or improve basic functionality. Results can be lower property values, higher taxes, and loss of reputation as a destination. Construction costs will increase 5%-7% annually.
This not for Tourism. Our exploding population and deteriorating infrastructure require solutions ‘now’, just to maintain what we already have. This is 99% about improving everyday lives.
This scenario allows us input about final outcomes: what the Bridge & Corridor look like; pedestrian-bike access; how many lanes; Gullah Rights; Park & Ride; HOV lanes and more. If it fails, we’re not in the process, period.
Consider workers, commuters, beach-goers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, teachers, grandkids … you get the idea.
The future is now, not twelve years from now.
– Terry Herron, Resident, Hilton Head Island