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OPINION

1% Sales Tax: Pass It to Find Out What's in It?

A Column by the Editor
web posted August 19, 2013

The Edgefield County Council will be addressing the possibility of a 1% sales tax for capital improvements in the county at their September 3 meeting. There is no ordinance to place the tax on the agenda at this time. Under discussion will be approving to create the "committee" that will meet to determine how to spend the $900,000 annually the additional tax is expected to collect.

Everyone appointed to the committee will be a political appointee who will be placed to grab as much money as possible from the newly created slush fund for their politician that appointed them to the "committee".

Now, what could possibly go wrong with that?

According to state law on how the committee breaks down there will be three appointed by the county, two appointed by the Edgefield Town Council and one appointed by the Johnston Town Council. Trenton gets left holding the bag with no say.

Edgefield gets two seats because of the population numbers, which are nefarious due to over half of Edgefield's population living within the confines of the Federal Prison. Hardly worth Edgefield getting a second seat because of criminals over the tax payers in Trenton.

It appears, at least at this time, the Edgefield County Could will vote to create the "committee" in order to see what projects they come up with before voting whether or not to place the tax for a vote under a referendum item on next year's elections.

The money could only be used for a limited number of properties that are owned by the county, the municipalities, School District, or other government entities.

Properties owned by the municipalities are already funded by town taxes, with the exception of Edgefield who foolishly erased their town taxes a number of years ago.

Properties owned by the School District are funded through school taxes, Federal, state and local.

County property is already funded through county property taxes.

Then they include roads to sweeten the pot. The Edgefield County Transportation Committee already oversees taxes collected for county roads through the gas tax.

To sweeten the pot even more, included is EMS and Fire Stations. Both of which are funded through individual millage rates.

So, the money can only go towards things we are already paying taxes to provide.

If I understand this correctly, in the worst economy since the Great Depression, with a President who is hell bent on destroying capitalism, ObamaCare doubling insurance costs, our elected leaders are considering adding a new tax  when the people are scraping together pennies to make it through the week. 

As a hold card, the county jail is brought up. That is a true and supportable issue. However, that should be done as a bond issue as a stand alone project. It would increase taxes slightly on the bond debt millage due to the many years it could be spread over, but it would go away once the required construction is completed and it is paid off.

A recent poll conducted earlier this month by Edgefield Daily showed 71% of those voting opposing the sales tax. Meanwhile, Edgefield County Council Chairman Dean Campbell continues to push the unpopular tax.

"Elect me in 2014. I want to raise your taxes."

I will be watching to see how that plays out in the next election. 



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