The proposed 1 cent sales tax increase for Kershaw County, to be voted on November 2, is both inappropriate and ill-timed. With unemployment at 11.1 percent and economic conditions adversely affecting all citizens, especially the poor and middle class, it is unconscionable that County Council would allow this process to even get off the ground, The Capital Projects Commission did what they were asked to do; but they should never have been asked in the first place. If either of the projects proposed to be funded by this tax increase had been deemed “essential”, then it should have been planned for, approved by the appropriate Council or Board, and included in that entity’s regular budget. This would have required some hard choices to determine what to sacrifice in order to cover the cost of the project, but tough decisions are being made every day by citizens of Kershaw County who are living on the edge of uncertainty. We don’t have the luxury of a “wish list”, which is exactly what this process became.
I encourage the voters of Kershaw County to send a clear message to County Council by voting a solid “NO” on the sales tax referendum. We do not need and cannot afford another tax increase on top of what we are already facing financially:
1. Kershaw County is scheduled for reassessment in 2011. This will almost certainly result in increased property taxes for most property owners.
2. Senior citizens living on fixed income are already being hit hard by low return on retirement investments and no COLA for SS.
3. Health insurance premiums have increased and will continue to do so as the Obama health insurance law continues to kick in.
4. If the so-called “Bush tax cuts” are allowed to expire December 31, as scheduled, a majority of taxpayers will see their federal taxes increase. The 10 percent tax bracket moves back to 15 percent, the 25 percent bracket to 28 percent, etc. The Child Tax Credit will decrease, and so on.
This is just not the time to add another sales tax burden on Kershaw County citizens.