Option to use sales tax for S.C. school construction costs

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Some S.C. senators want more school districts to have the option of pursuing a sales tax to pay for school construction projects.

The Senate Finance Committee advanced a bill Tuesday, sponsored by state Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, that would allow school districts in all of the state’s 46 counties to ask voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax for building projects.

Currently only two counties – Horry and Charleston – now collect the 1-cent-on-the-dollar tax. The tax can be imposed for no more than 15 years before voters must be asked to reauthorize it. Combined, the two counties raised almost $136 million through the education sales tax in the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to the S.C. Department of Revenue.

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