To the Editor:
The Beaufort County Council has approved placing a sales tax increase on the ballot come November. The tax is expected to raise $120 million dollars over four years. The County Council also approved a tax request by the County School Board that is structured to raise $282 million over 10 years for the construction of new schools and other construction. In addition, homeowners will be hit with a property tax increase.
Okay, so what choices do Beaufort county residents have? Vote “yes” and we are on the hook for more than $400 million, not counting the property tax hike. Vote “no” and we risk letting some good projects go down the drain.
The problem, it seems to me, is that the Council has put all the projects – both good and not so good – into a bundle. In other words, in their wisdom they have created a “take it or leave it” situation, which I think is a bad idea.
Instead of a bundle, I propose that the referendum be presented to voters so they can view each project proposed and how much it will cost. In that way, voters can make up their own minds about which projects pass the smell test. I think the residents of Beaufort County are smart enough to know which of the projects are pork and which are not and vote accordingly.
Contact your Council member and tell her-him that the referendum should allow voters to vote “yea” or “nay” on individual projects and not just “yes” or “no” on an all-inclusive bundle.