The sales tax referendum that Georgetown County residents are going to be voting on in November is being presented as if it is only a penny. The one cent is going to cost the citizens of this county $40 million.
The county plans to borrow against the projected income. We already owe $71 million for capital improvements and the additional $40 million will put our debt at $112 million. The county has increased our operating and maintenance cost by $1.9 million.
The county has 694 employees, including a recently hired tennis pro and public relations person.
We are ranked fourth in the state for the number of employees per capita.
For a county our size and in our current economic condition, the numbers do not make sense. We only have 60,158 people (projected to decline) with 19 percent over 65 years old and 24 percent under 19 years of age, 9.5 percent unemployed and 32 percent living in poverty.
The county administrator is using the dredging projects as bait in the hope that you will vote for the sales tax. If the County Council were sincere about doing what is right, they would have appropriated the funds for the dredging in the original capital improvements plan, instead of choosing to spend most of the money on parks and recreation. Remember, all good things come not only with a price tag, but with operating and maintenance costs that will continue. The only jobs created will be taxpayer funded jobs.
My father used to have a saying, “Liars can figure, but numbers don’t lie.” It is time to stop the madness. Vote no to the sales tax referendum.
The writer lives in Georgetown.