With hopes the people of Chesterfield County will vote to give up a few pennies at the time to help fund major infrastructure projects, such as roads and bridges, Chesterfield County Council approved the implementation of a Sales Tax Resolution on Sept. 5, with a vote of 7-2. Voting against the proposed plan were Councilmen Al Johnson and Douglas Curtis.
In 1976, the Code of Laws of South Carolina created a Capital Project Sales Tax Act (CPST Act), which allows legislators to create resolutions for raising money for a specific project, with the support of the citizens. Supporters of the CPST Act say that by allowing citizens to vote yeah or nay on having their taxes raised for a specific purpose, both the government and the citizens are aware of exactly where the money is coming from and where it is going.
Resolution No: 2013-04, in part, reads, “The Capital Project Sales Tax Act empowers and authorizes the county governing body, the Chesterfield County Council, to impose a one percent (1%) sales and use tax by ordinance, subject to a referendum, within the county for a specific purpose or purposes and for a limited amount of time.”
The only problem with using this procedure to raise money for needed projects, some councilmen say, is that it costs money to print ballots and inform the public in hopes of citizen support. It is estimated, and council approved to spend, approximately $75,000 to get the question of adding a one percent sales tax on the November ballot.
“The biggest problem I have with it,” said Curtis, “is I don’t think the people will pass it. Then we’ve spent $75,000 for nothing.”
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, extension 224, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.