First, I want to congratulate and thank the commission members who worked very hard and without any pay, I might add, to develop a list of projects that will improve the quality of life for all citizens of Laurens County.
Folks, this vote is a non-partisan issue. You do not have to be a conservative or a liberal to support the 1% capital projects sales tax. The saying that nothing is free also applies to services in Laurens County. Someone has to pay the bill for everything you receive. People get excited and riled up about that three letter word “TAX”, but a sales tax is actually the most fair form of tax there is. Everyone pays it, including those who visit our county on a regular basis but do not live here.
Unlike a property tax, a sales tax is paid by everyone, not just Laurens County residents. If you shop or purchase goods in Newberry County, Spartanburg County, or Greenwood County, you are contributing to their capital projects tax.
I, for one, want to see our property taxes remain as low as possible, which the 1% capital projects tax should help accomplish. It will allow all parts of our county to benefit without the property owner bearing the entire cost.
The revenue from this tax will construct the first phase of a recreation complex for Gray Court, construct trails for walking and biking, build a new higher capacity water tank for Hickory Tavern, construct a splash pad in Joanna, build an agriculture and business center, a Veterans Memorial Park, airport upgrades, remodel the historic courthouse in downtown Laurens, Martha Dendy Community Center, new Clinton library, and much needed infrastructure money for the cities of Clinton and Fountain Inn.
One question that I hear the most is if this tax will go away. The answer is yes. This tax will “sunset” or go away in eight years. In order for it to continue, the taxpayer would have to once again vote yes to a voter referendum. Also, the revenue from this tax can only be used to fund the approved projects and cannot go to any other special project or entity. This tax proposal is the one time in government when the citizens of our county know exactly what they are getting and how much they are paying for it.
In closing, next Tuesday, November 3rd, you, the voter, get to decide the course for our Nation, State, and County. I only ask that you vote wisely and for a better quality of Life for Laurens County. When you finish voting, go listen to Kenny Chesney’s new song, “Get Along.” Maybe after the elections we can all make an effort to GET ALONG!!