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View Poll Results: Are you for or against a 1 cent increase in sales tax to repair Greenville County roads?
Yes, I am FOR the tax increase 39 50.65%
No, I am AGAINST the tax increase 38 49.35%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-16-2014, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Upstate
5,774 posts, read 6,545,301 times
Reputation: 4101

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When I first heard about the proposed 1 cent sales tax increase (or 17% increase if you want to look at it that way) earlier this year to repair our roads in Greenville County, I wanted to hear more. Normally my first reaction to a tax hike is NO!, but seeing our roads in the shape they are and the traffic issues we have, I wanted to see how this would play out.

Now that a few months have gone by, it looks to me at least, that this particular tax increase is not the same as first proposed. First it appears that less than half the $673M raised will actually go to fix roads, with half of that going to fix State roads not County roads. A portion of the money will go outside the County (about $12M).

From what I've been hearing, is that according to wording in the statue, the City Council has full control of the money and can do whatever it pleases with it. So they don't have to spend it on roads if they don't want...we all know what politicians do with extra money laying around (just look at Social Security for example).

Lastly, at first they proponents said that groceries would be exempt. That is not the case, yet many on the council still believe it is.

I don't want to repeat all of the talking points, but rather open up a discussion here. Let's try to keep it civil.

I've changed my vote to NO at the moment, but maybe in the discussions, a better case can be made.

Some info:

No Tax Hike in Greenville SC!

Americans for Prosperity - South Carolina
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:26 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,457 times
Reputation: 10
Does the sales tax go on forever? I would support it more if it had a 5 year sunset.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
701 posts, read 791,619 times
Reputation: 832
We did absentee voting yesterday, due to the fact we will be working the polls on Nov. 4. We voted NO. IF groceries were exempt, and I believed it would actually go for roads, I MAY have voted yes.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Greer
1,608 posts, read 2,019,080 times
Reputation: 1115
Here's the actual text of the referendum. It does have an 8 - year sunset (or $673M raised, whichever comes first), and it says nothing about a grocery exemption.

It also looks to me like it requires the funds to be used for the four road, sidewalk, and path projects listed.

Quote:
GREENVILLE COUNTY SPECIAL SALES AND USE TAX
I approve a special sales and use tax in the amount of one percent (1%) to be imposed in Greenville County , South Carolina for not more than eight (8) years or until a total of $673,193,630 in sales tax revenue has been collected, whichever occurs first. The sales tax revenue will be used to pay the costs of the following projects including engineering, design, construction, right of way acquisition, administrative expenses, and related drainage facilities:
Project 1: Improvements to highways, roads, streets, and intersections to include widening, realignment, and signalization of existing roads and construction of new roads. Amount: $297,770,000
Project 2: Improvements to bridges to include replacing, installing, constructing and rehabilitating bridges. Amount: $27,800,000
Project 3: Improvements to pedestrian-related transportation facilities to include adding, improving and repairing sidewalks, crosswalks, trails, and bike lanes. Amount: $47,623,630
Project 4: Resurfacing of highways, roads, and streets. Amount: $300,000,000
Yes: ___
No: ___
Instructions to Voters: All qualified electors desiring to vote in favor of levying the special sales and use tax shall vote YES, and All qualified electors opposed to levying the special sales and use tax shall vote NO.
Read Greenville Co. sales tax ballot referendum - CBS46 News
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:06 AM
 
643 posts, read 919,893 times
Reputation: 351
I'm voting no.

Not a fan of any tax hike to be honest. I pay enough already and if our government (State and Federal) can't learn to live within their means and budget with what they have then they do not deserve any more of my hard earned money.

And the sunset - question - do you all really think they'll sunset and expire this tax? I mean, that's taking a lot of $$ out of their pockets. How easy would it be for them to extend the tax 'temporarily'? Meh. Don't trust them at all.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Greer
1,608 posts, read 2,019,080 times
Reputation: 1115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valien View Post
And the sunset - question - do you all really think they'll sunset and expire this tax? I mean, that's taking a lot of $$ out of their pockets. How easy would it be for them to extend the tax 'temporarily'? Meh. Don't trust them at all.
The sunset is clearly written into the ballot. If it's so easy, as you say, for them to tax without a vote authorizing it, why are they bothering with a vote in the first place?

Are there previous examples you can show where sunsets on ballot referendums were circumvented by the county government?
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
10,338 posts, read 20,586,840 times
Reputation: 2771
I'm voting yes. Our roads are in terrible shape and need fixing now. Waiting on the state to do something is a lost cause.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:16 AM
 
20 posts, read 23,443 times
Reputation: 26
The tax is not collected on things that are already exempt from sales taxes (i.e. groceries).

ALL of the money collected will go to roads & infrastructure.

There is no way that the state government will come up with a plan to improve road conditions let alone make significant improvements to congested areas (i.e. Woodruff Rd) in our lifetimes.

This tax increase is one of the best things that could happen to the County, it would lead to local job creation, and increased industry development. It would also do a great deal to increase safety at our local schools.


The law forces the tax to stop at the sunset or end of 8 years, that is state law. Voters can extend the tax if they want to. 1%

Quotes from bettergreenvilleroads.com
"The temporary tax must be approved by the voters and expires when the money is collected. The tax will NOT be collected on rent/mortgage, taxes, utilities, prescription drugs, gasoline or any other items that are exempt from sales tax. It’s anticipated that roughly 20% of the tax will be collected from people who do not live in Greenville, but come here to shop. How sweet is that!"

"Q: What will the additional penny tax cost a typical family over a year’s time?

A: Here’s some math to show how much a “typical Greenville County family,” one that makes $48,000 per year, might have to pay over a year’s time, with the additional one cent per dollar sales tax:

Assuming they pay 20% federal taxes, their take home pay would be $38,400
Of that, $12,000 goes to rent/mortgage, leaving $26,400
Less utilities: $3000
Less auto fuel/service: $1320
Less auto/home/medical insurance: $3600
Additional medical/healthcare expenses: $1200
Church/charity: $1200
Savings/retirement: $2400
TOTAL NON-TAXABLE EXPENDITURES: $34,320

This leaves $13,680 for taxable expenses
AT 1%, THE NEW TAX WOULD COST THE TYPICAL FAMILY $137 OVER A YEAR"

In my own opinion the $10 to $15 extra you might pay in additional taxes a month far outweigh sitting around and waiting for the state to do something.

Better Greenville Roads
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Greer
1,608 posts, read 2,019,080 times
Reputation: 1115
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiKappEL251 View Post

The tax is not collected on things that are already exempt from sales taxes (i.e. groceries).


Quotes from bettergreenvilleroads.com
"The temporary tax must be approved by the voters and expires when the money is collected. The tax will NOT be collected on rent/mortgage, taxes, utilities, prescription drugs, gasoline or any other items that are exempt from sales tax. "
How do we know that groceries, et al, are exempt, if it isn't written into the referendum? This is not a rhetorical question, I am genuinely asking. Is that in state law somewhere?


I am further curious as to whether it would tax groceries, because on the website you link, they do not say groceries would be exempt, and their calculations as to the average family's tax burden, they do not deduct the cost of groceries:


Quote:
A: Here’s some math to show how much a “typical Greenville County family,” one that makes $48,000 per year, might have to pay over a year’s time, with the additional one cent per dollar sales tax:

Assuming they pay 20% federal taxes, their take home pay would be $38,400
Of that, $12,000 goes to rent/mortgage, leaving $26,400
Less utilities: $3000
Less auto fuel/service: $1320
Less auto/home/medical insurance: $3600
Additional medical/healthcare expenses: $1200
Church/charity: $1200
Savings/retirement: $2400
TOTAL NON-TAXABLE EXPENDITURES: $34,320

This leaves $13,680 for taxable expenses
AT 1%, THE NEW TAX WOULD COST THE TYPICAL FAMILY $137 OVER A YEAR"
Better Greenville Roads
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,509 posts, read 5,558,360 times
Reputation: 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by USNRET04 View Post
I've seen both of these before, and each has nothing more than talking points with no factual data to back them up.

Is there any actual data to prove that money will be spent outside of the county, or that groceries will be taxed.

I'm not arguing, or trying to discredit this, I really want to know, as I distrust any of these political groups that don't back up their statements with some hard facts?
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