Edgefield County Considers Adding Tax - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Edgefield County Considers Adding Tax

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Edgefield County, SC -

Another sales tax on pretty much everything Edgefield County consumers purchase - one percent:

"Nobody ever wants to pay more taxes, that's a standard answer," says Brian Dowler, an Edgefield County taxpayer.

Taxes may not be something people want, but there are a lot of things people here say they -do- want:  For example, a jail that isn't full, roads that are repaired, and enough ambulances in case of an emergency.  And for those things, some say one percent is a price they'd be willing to pay.

"It may be worth the investment, I'd be interested to know where the money's going," Dowler says.

"I'd be glad to pay," seconds Bill Rogers, "I'd have no problem paying it, as an employer and a business operator here in the county, I think it's worth the investment."

Some county leaders say a one percent capital sales tax - a tax that voters would have to approve for specific county projects - might take more money out of taxpayers' pockets, but it would put the power in their hands:

"The great thing about it is a committee is formed of citizens in Edgefield and they can determine what's important to them," County Administrator Lynn Strom says.

But other county leaders say, even at one percent, another tax is too much.

"My gut reaction is things need to be done in the county, but I'm not sure adding another tax is what we need," says Edgefield County councilman Rodney Ashcraft.  "There's something to be trimmed at the state level, and a lot to be trimmed at the federal level, and until that happens and we're able to bring more dollars home, I'm not so sure I want to raise money at the county level."

Ashcraft says he would also need to hear that his constituents favor the tax.

All county leaders we talked with, however, say they are in favor of exploring a committee about what Edgefield County needs to be better - but then they would have to vote for a referendum which taxpayers would have to approve come November of 2014.

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