CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- In addition to electing candidates to federal, state, and local offices, Lowcountry voters got to weigh in on a number of countywide and municipal referendums on Tuesday.
Town of Mount Pleasant
By a narrow margin, voters in the Town of Mount Pleasant agreed to pay higher property taxes in order to raise $50 million for various parks and recreation projects.
Voters approved the measure by a margin of 51 percent to 49 percent.
According to officials, taxpayers will now pay approximately $80 per year or $6.67 per month on a home appraised at a value of $500,000 for a period of 15 years.
It was a victory for town council members who encouraged votes in favor of the referendum, but a blow to Mayor Will Hayne who called the tax increase “irresponsible.”
The referendum will fund the newly proposed Rifle Range Park, renovate the Park West indoor pool, and add $1.7 million in new paths for the Mount Pleasant Way, among other projects.
There was a trio of referendums on the ballot in Berkeley County on Tuesday, all of which were overwhelmingly approved.
Voters approved two separate 1% sales tax referendums to fund road and school projects in one of the state’s fastest-growing counties.
The first question asked if Berkeley County residents would agree to fund $587 million across seven years of various transportation-related projects and facilities. That measure was approved by a roughly 48-point margin, with 74% of voters saying ‘yes.’ The second question asked voters to approve the issuing of $89 million in County Obligation Bonds from the special sales and use tax fund to fund the completion of infrastructure projects, which was also approved by a wide margin.
The one-percent special sales and use tax in Berkeley County was established in 2008 and approved in a separate, but similar referendum in 2014. It will now continue for another seven years.
The other one-percent sales tax increase, approved by a 71 percent to 29 percent vote, will be used to fund school improvement projects.
Dorchester County voters were asked whether they were in favor of continuing the one-percent sales and use tax to fund transportation improvements throughout the county.
The measure was approved by a 59 percent to 41 percent vote on Tuesday.
According to officials, the tax program has had a “significant” impact on Dorchester County roads since 2005, including providing funding for constructing new roadways, widening major thoroughfares, paving hundreds of miles of dirt roads, and financing drainage facilities and mass transit systems, among other projects.
The special sales and use tax will continue for the next 15 years.
Isle of Palms
They rejected the measure by a 71 percent to 29 percent vote.
Voters on the Isle of Palms were asked on Tuesday whether they would support reducing the size of the city council from eight members to six members.