S.C. schools may benefit from new idea to fund construction

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Beaufort and Jasper county school districts could have a new tool at their disposal, under a bill that was introduced to help an upper Savannah River school district raise money for new schools.

Two state lawmakers from Aiken County have introduced a bill at the request of their local school board members to allow them to present county voters with a 1-cent sales tax request in November.The effort by Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, and Rep. Roland Smith, R-Warrenville, would provide the penny-tax option to not just their constituents but to the rest of the state’s counties that do not raise a minimum amount in accommodation taxes. Currently only one-fourth of the state’s school districts have the ability to consider a penny sales tax for school construction needs, according to proponents of the bill, H. 4512.

As for Beaufort County School District, the spokesman didn’t rule out the idea on Thursday. However, the superintendent of Jasper County School District, Vashti Washington, said a county sales tax would not yield a sizable revenue stream.

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