There is no question we all pay our share of taxes. Since taxes are necessary and one of two things that are certain (death being the other), it is refreshing to finally have local leaders working together in an effort to better our communities. What I am referring to is the Capital Sales Tax Project or “Penny For Progress Kershaw County.”
At the direction of Kershaw County Council, a group of visionary citizens formed a committee to develop a list of worthy projects that would, either directly or indirectly, benefit current and future citizens of Kershaw County.
In this economy it is so easy to say, “no more taxes” -- and many people do. They say it without regard to what this tax can actually do and they don’t bother to do their homework to find out how this tax can transform our county from a good county into a great county -- a county that people will want to move to, live and work in, and tell others about.
Unlike most taxes, this tax -- by state law -- can only last for 8 years and, unlike most taxes, you know exactly what your pennies are being used for. Also, groceries and unprepared food are exempt from this penny tax.
In Kershaw County, we have cut spending to the bone. What we need to do now is to increase our revenues. This can be done by attracting more businesses, more residents and more tourists into Kershaw County. One way to accomplish this is by improving the quality of life in our community. I realize that “quality of life” is difficult to measure, but without it, we would, certainly, remain stagnant and go no where.
The proposed recreation department improvements have the potential to generate thousands of dollars from tourists alone. Holding weekend tournaments will bring families to Kershaw County that will put “heads on beds” in our local hotels. That will springboard to spending in our restaurants, gas stations, and local businesses.
Any industry that wants to locate here needs workers. Having our own technical college in the county is a huge plus. The expansion of Central Carolina Technical College will give our local students an opportunity for higher education right here in Kershaw County.
Having a state of the art hospital in Kershaw County is, no doubt, a blessing. KershawHealth’s expansion will not only improve the appearance of Burndale Shopping Center, but will give folks an alternative to emergency room health care and cancer patients an easily accessible treatment facility.
The South Carolina Equine Park is already doing its job by attracting tourists and their dollars to Kershaw County. We are very fortunate to have that facility in Kershaw County. An expansion here will allow year-round activities, and, you guessed it, year-round tourists and the additional revenue they will bring into our county coffers.
Conservative estimates predict each resident in Kershaw County will pay an extra $4.75 per month for the next 8 years. What a small price to pay for something that has the potential to transform our county for generations.
I ask you to vote “YES” for the County Sales Tax Question and “YES” for the Sales Tax Bond Question that will appear on your ballot on November 2.