If approved by voters in November, the 1% sales and use tax will generate $536 million to be used for road and infrastructure improvements across Lexington County
The Lexington County Council voted unanimously to approve the Capital Project Sales Tax Ordinance during their council meeting on Tuesday, July 26.
The measure now moves to the General Elections’ ballot in November, where Lexington County voters will choose whether the Capital Project Sales Tax will be applied. If approved by the voters, the Capital Project Sales Tax (CPST) will impose a one percent sales and use tax, with all of the proceeds funding infrastructure improvement projects across Lexington County. The CPST will remain in effect for eight years, if approved by the voters.
The South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office has estimated that a one percent sales and use tax would generate an estimated $536 million during the 8-year period from May 1, 2023, to April 30, 2031. If the CPST is approved, the estimated $536 million would be used as follows:
- $382,195,140 for road improvement, repaving, resurfacing, and related stormwater drainage projects
- $69,497,052 for intersection improvement projects
- $76,327,808 for paving of dirt road projects
- $7,980,000 for bridge projects
This process began with the creation of the six-member CPST Commission to review the infrastructure projects that were submitted by various governmental bodies within Lexington County. By statute, Lexington County Council appointed three members to the CPST Commission, and then a statutory formula allowed for the municipalities to appoint three members who must be residents of a municipality.
Lexington County then hired Alliance Engineering to coordinate the submittal of projects to the CPST Commission. Alliance worked with the CPST Commission in reviewing and scoring the projects to create a priority list of infrastructure projects. More than $800 million in projects were submitted to the CPST Commission by municipalities as well as Lexington County. The projects were then scored and ranked using criteria developed by the CPST Commission. After the list was finalized to include only transportation related projects, County Council approved the project list and ballot question.
The projects will be completed in the order of priority as determined by the CPST Commission. If there are circumstances for which a priority project is delayed, County Council may enact an ordinance to fund a lower priority project because of the delay. You can see the finalized priority list of projects here.
The first reading for this ordinance was held on June 7, 2022. Then a public hearing and a second reading was held on July 12, 2022. The third and final reading was held on July 26, 2022.
“This is not County Council that is passing this tax,” Councilman Todd Cullum said. “This is allowing the people that elected all of us to have a say in this matter.”
“This is not a whim decision,” Council Larry Brigham said. “We’ve explored every option that we knew to explore to try and help fund the roads and this is the answer.”
“If you look at this list, there’s nothing on this list that you can’t put a piece of rubber on,” Chairman Scott Whetstone said. “It is not this nine-person body’s decision. It is up to the people of Lexington County. This is your vote, and your voices will be heard.”
For more information about the CPST including a list of projects by type, by district and by priority, visit www.lexingtoncountycpst.com.