Should the County Raise its Sales Tax?
That's the question to be posed tonight in a public hearing in Columbia to gather input on a likely referendum to raise the tax to 8 percent.
With Richland County Council apparently ready to place a sales-tax increase referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot, residents will get an opportunity tonight to weigh in on the matter.
The Council will hold a special public hearing at 6 p.m. in Council chambers at the county's Administration Building, located at 2020 Hampton St.
A proposed referendum would add one cent to the current sales tax, raising it to 8 cents per dollar on most purchases, according to The State.
The extra tax would be earmarked for transportation items, such as paving roads, improving bus service, and adding sidewalks, bike lanes, and greenways, among other things.
"Transportation planners Parsons Brinkerhoff established a list of projects representing the county’s top priorities. The list was compiled from public hearings and meetings with elected officials along with data on traffic congestion, land use, public safety and environmental effects," the paper reported.
The proposal before County Council is for 71 percent of tax proceeds to go to road projects, with 25 percent to improve bus service and 4 percent for pedestrian and cycling needs, according to the paper.