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Penny Tax Opposition Grows

web posted March 18, 2014

COUNTY According to a recent poll conducted by Edgefield Daily, opposition to the proposed penny tax is losing by a wider margin than a poll conducted in August when it was first announced. In August 71% were opposed to the tax. In the recent poll, that number had grown to 78% against.

According to the polling data, 13% were unsure of their support saying it would depend on the projects in August. Once the initial proposed list (subject to change) was released last month, those votes split with 5% more supporting the tax (15% in August and 20% currently) and 7% went to being opposed rather than open to the idea (71% to 78%).

Undecided rose one point from 1% in August to 2% in early March.

The tax, introduced in July by County Council Chairman Dean Campbell, has been a hard sell since that time. The 1% Sales Tax Committee has until April 1 to submit their final plan to the full council for an up or down vote. The council could also vote to do away with the proposal altogether.

The council could also reject the list and extend the committee's work for two years, seeking to bring it back for the 2016 general election for a referendum. By law the referendum must take place during a general election. At the time it was introduced, Campbell wanted to have a list ready for this November's elections.

According to members of council who have spoken to Edgefield Daily, if the current list of projects does not change significantly, it will be voted down in April.

However, with opposition to the tax growing now to nearly 80% against, it is unlikely that any list of projects would be approved by voters if placed on the ballot.

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