Sales Tax Referendum in Hands of Newberry Voters

July 22, 2010

Investigative Reports

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The NerveNewberry County Council has approved plans to put a $17.5 million capital project sales tax referendum on the November ballot.

If passed, the Newberry County Capital Projects Sales Tax would fund more than a dozen projects, including:Repairs and renovations for the Newberry Opera House;

  • A new Piedmont Technical College campus;
  • Renovations to the old train depot in Prosperity;
  • Improvements to the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park;
  • Water and sewer improvements in the county;
  • Renovations to the Whitmire town annex;
  • Council on Aging Senior Center expansion; and
  • Three new fire substations.

All council members approved the third and final reading of the ordinance during the council’s July 7 meeting.The penny sales tax, if approved, would be funded through a bond, which will let all of the projects begin at the same time.

The ballot will give the county the authorization to issue bonds for the project not to exceed $15.625 million. An additional $2 million will be funded through interest on bond revenues and taxes, and money left over from other projects.

Projects were selected from a list of 32 projects, with commission members grading the merit of each.

The commission then decided to choose the top 10 projects, according to the Newberry Observer.

Also on the list are second-tier projects such as fire substations at Highway 156 and Old Whitmire Road, Belfast and Brehmer roads, and Leitzsey and New Hope roads, the Observer added.

The new Piedmont Tech campus will cost nearly $5.8 million, the most of any of the projects.

All 13 projects will simply appear in one list on the ballot.

Reach Dietrich at (803) 779-5022, ext. 110, or at kevin@scpolicycouncil.com