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Penny for Progress Commission answers questions prior to Nov. 3 referendum

KELSEY WOODS - Sep 30, 2020

Article Link Penny for Progress held a press conference Tuesday evening to address questions from the citizens of Laurens County. The 1% retail sales tax increase, over 8 years is to raise $35 million for 16 projects throughout Laurens County. This tax is not used in the sale of gasoline, unprepared foods, or prescription drugs. The Department of Revenue predicted that Laurens County could raise $51 million in those same 8 years. The $35 million is a safe goal for the county. If the money is raised before the 8 years is up, the tax can be removed. If this tax increase is approved, a $35 million bond will be taken out to pay for the 16 projects. The commission believes, because bond rates are so low, that a bond would be the best way so all projects could get funded and start at the same time. 40 percent of the $35 million would be paid by visitors of Laurens County. This leads to residents paying around $38.89 per year, per resident. Laurens County has a population of 67,493. Around 42,000 people use the major interstates that run through Laurens County per day. The money raised will go to the 16 projects approved by the commissioners. 94 percent of the projects that were submitted were selected. Surrounding counties such as Greenwood and Newberry have already implemented a tax like this one. This is also a tax that the county will get to vote on, unlike most taxes’ citizens pay. The proposed tax will be on the ballot during the November 3 general election.  The projects the commission approved are listed below. 1. Laurens County Parks and Recreation Projects 2. Clinton Regional Library 3. Historic Courthouse 4. Agriculture and Business Center 5. Fountain Inn Infrastructure Project 6. E-911 Radio Upgrades 7. Laurens County Airport 8. Veterans Monuments and Memorial Park 9. Laurens County Water & Sewer Commission Water Tower 10. Martha Dendy Community Center 11. Laurens County EMS-Medic 1 Renovation 12. Laurens County Animal Shelter 13. Laurens County Trails Association 14. Town of Gray Court Park 15. City of Clinton Infrastructure 16. Laurens County Sheriff’s Evidence Storage Facility For more detailed information on each project, citizens can visit www.yestoinvestlc.com

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