When did the Beaufort Penny Referendum go into effect?
The Beaufort Penny Referendum was passed on November 6, 2018, and the resulting 1% sales tax increase went into effect on May 1, 2019. South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) began collections on May 1, 2019.
How much has been collected from the cent?
Since May 2019, Beaufort County has received over $70 million in collections from the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
What projects were included in the Beaufort Penny Referendum?
The 2018 Penny Referendum allocated money for three main project areas:
$80 Million for US 278 Corridor Traffic Improvements
$30 Million for Lady’s Island Corridor Traffic Improvements
$10 Million for Sidewalks and Multi-use Pathways
What is the current status of each project?
The project is fully funded through a combination of funding sources to include the 2018 Sales Tax Referendum, SCDOT and the State Infrastructure Bank (SIB).
Traffic Improvements to the US 21/SC 802 corridor include nine specific projects. The nine projects were identified in Lady’s Island Corridor Study. Project status is:
Sam’s Point Turn Lane located near Walgreens at US 21/SC 802 Intersection
Design, R/W Acquisition, and Permitting are complete.
Construction began January 4, 2021.
Airport Frontage Road design is in progress.
For the remaining seven projects, the procurement process is in progress to select two design consultants. One contract will focus on the main corridor improvements and Beaufort High School Access Realignment, and the second contract will focus on smaller connecting and access roads.
Public meetings will be conducted during the design process.
24 pathways were voted on and approved by the citizens of Beaufort County.
14 priority pathways were identified and design is in progress.
A second public meeting will be held in 2021.
The County will seek additional funding in the form of state or federal grants, and public-private partnerships to build as many pathways and sidewalks.
When will construction begin?
Many of the projects included in the 2018 Penny Referendum are in the early design and permitting stages. The County will continue to seek public input on all designs before moving to construction. The first construction project is the Sam’s Point Turn Lane, a traffic improvement project on Lady’s Island, which began January 4, 2021.
Many items, such as medicines and services, are exempt. A list of items that are exempted from the local sales tax is maintained by the South Carolina Department of Revenue. A link to a reference document can be found here.