Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who determined what projects would be on the list?
Five committees were assembled, each made up of five Greenwood citizens with varying backgrounds. Greenwood County advertised for and accepted applications from any organization or individual that wanted to submit a project for consideration. 43 applications were received. The committees recommended 27 projects to the six member 2016 Greenwood County Capital Project Sales Tax Commission appointed by City and County Council. The Commission agreed with the committee’s recommended 27 projects. The Commission monetized and ordered the projects. The Commission unanimously recommended the referendum question to Greenwood County Council. Greenwood County Council unanimously approved the referendum question as presented to be placed on the November 8, 2016 ballot for Greenwood County voters to consider.
Can the list be changed or be amended before election day?
No, once Greenwood County Council gave the final reading to the list on July 26, 2016, changes to the project list are not allowed.
Do we really need these projects?
All of the 27 projects are necessary to improve the safety, economic development and quality of life of our community. “Need” is a subjective term, but there is no doubt that our community needs new jobs, investment for police and fire protection, safer roads and safe, clean places for our children to play.
Who will pay for all of this?
It is estimated that anywhere from 25-40% of the local sales tax is paid by people who live outside of Greenwood County, but travel through or work in Greenwood County. The remainder is paid by residents of Greenwood County.
Does the 1% sales tax apply to groceries?
Food items that are eligible for purchase with SNAP, WIC, or EBT Benefits are exempt from the Capital Project Sales Tax, purchaser does not need to receive SNAP, WIC, or EBT Benefits for the exemption to apply.
Also, prescription medication is exempt from the Capital Project Sales Tax.
Would the proposed 1% Capital Project Sales Tax apply to Internet purchases?
Yes, according to the South Carolina Department of Revenue. The Capital Projects Sales Tax will be collected on an Internet sale if the the purchase is delivered to an address in Greenwood County.
If approved, will the additional sales tax go on forever?
No. By State law, the 1% sales tax can last a maximum of 8 years or when the collections reach $87,938,185 whichever comes first. Any extension beyond this point would have to follow the same process and would require another referendum vote by Greenwood County voters.
Should the referendum pass, can Greenwood County change the projects?
No, State law does not allow any changes to the projects.
Can the money collected for these projects be used on other things?
No. The list is an all or nothing vote. Under State law, the money generated must be spent on the things listed on the ballot.
What happens if the sales tax doesn’t generate enough money?
Much effort was given to monetizing the projects to include adding a cost inflation factor. All projects are expected to be complete. However, if the 1% sales tax will not fund all of the projects, the projects at the bottom of the list will not be started unless the City Council or County Council find alternative sources to fund those projects completely.
Can I vote for this Capital Project Sales Tax through a straight Democratic or Republican ticket?
Please note if you vote a straight ticket on the ballot, you will not be directed immediately to the additional questions. You will need to return to the main screen to find the remaining questions to vote for the Capital Project Sales Tax.
Why is the expansion of a state road being funded through this initiative?
While Highway 246 is a state road, there is currently no sense of urgency from the state of South Carolina to complete this project. By providing some of the funds ourselves, the project is able to receive state & federal funds much faster. Greenwood County would only fund 20% of the $50 Million project through the Capital Project Sales Tax with the other 80% to come from Federal and State dollars. Without this investment on our part, there is no reliable time frame for when this project would be completed by the state. Highway 246 was chosen because there will undoubtedly be a huge increase in traffic with the addition of Colombo Energy (100-150 Tractor Trailers per day) and the expansion of the highway will help to attract more industry to the Highway 246 Industrial Cluster while avoiding traffic problems for both industry and residents.
Why would Greenwood County use tax dollars on a new building for Piedmont Tech?
County funds will actually be used for less than half of the total cost of the building ($6 Million out of $13 Million), with the remaining funds being contributed by Piedmont Tech and the State of South Carolina. This project is critical to recruiting and retaining industry, and as such will benefit the entire community; remember, for every manufacturing job created three additional jobs are also created. Finally, when the Greenwood Promise is completely funded (through private donations) every child in Greenwood County will have the option to attend Piedmont Tech free of charge, giving Greenwood County residents a truly unique educational opportunity.