CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Tuesday night, Charleston County Council passed the second readings of two ordinances allocating the funds from the half-cent sales tax to several transportation projects for fiscal year 2020. 

The Executive Director for Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, William Hamilton, set up a display outside of council chambers tonight asking Charleston County to keep its promise to taxpayers in using the half-cent sale tax to fund bus transit. 

“Making those regular CARTA buses work, has to be part of the plan… The county has shown a disturbing tendency to mix all of these pools of funding together and to blur the very clear lines that voters set out about what this money is to be used for,” Hamilton said.

Improving mass transit is something that Charleston county says that they are looking to do with funds from the first and second half cent sales tax.

“The rapid bus transit system or public transportation is something we need to look at, because we are rapidly becoming a qausi-metropolis. Without some sort of public transportation, the infrastructure issues will become more and more untenable,” Victor Rawl, Charleston County Council Member, District 6, said.

The ordinances passed tonight allocate more than 20 million dollars, in fiscal year 2020, from the half-cent sales tax to mass transit projects, including CARTA and Rapid Bus Transit. 

“The Rapid Bus Transit System is a public transportation system that hopefully will enhance higher density, workforce and/or low-income housing, transportation to and from jobs,” Rawl said.

Millions of dollars from the half-cent sales tax will also be used for the Greenbelt Program which works to establish and preserve green spaces in Charleston county. 

“The preservation of green spaces for our families to play and recreate in is very important. We only really touch those one time a year, so that gets a lot of excitement,” Brantley Moody, Charleston County Council Member, District 7, said.