When Chesterfield Council Council members were met Wednesday morning with signs of protest that read “please vote no” for the third and final reading of the capital projects sales tax ordinance that would let voters decide on a 1 percent sales tax increase in November, most of them did.
Of the nine council members, only three voted to go through with the proposal that has already cost the county $75,000. In the final tally, Councilmen Eddie Rivers, Al Johnson and Gerald Miller voted yes to the proposed penny sales tax referendum.
For the 30 or more people who showed up to protest the vote, the day was a success.
“We stopped the creation of a big hole that we would have been crawling out of for years,” said Glenn Gulledge of Cheraw. “I hate the county spent $75,000 toward that effort, but I’m glad they didn’t throw any more money in that direction.”
“We appreciate them voting no today. So we’re not going to beat them up for past mistakes,” said Gulledge.
Councilman Crawford Moore, who had previously voted in favor of the tax referendum, voted against it in the final reading.
“I don’t think the list was very strong,” said Moore, although he commended the committee of people who worked diligently to prepare it.
In order for the sales tax option to be placed on the ballot in November, state statutes require a prioritized list of proposed projects to be on the ballot so that voters know how county leaders would use the extra revenue.
With Wednesday’s vote, the residents of Chesterfield County will no longer have to decide.
Council Chairman Matt Rivers told those attending the meeting he was appreciative of their interest in the county’s business.
The proposed sales tax was projected to raise roughly $20 million over the next eight years for the purpose of improving various infrastructure problems within the county.
— Reach Staff Writer Karen Kissiah at 843-537-5261.