Beaufort County Penny Tax for Roads Delayed, Green Space Up for Consideration
With questions about the projects on the original list and not enough time to make voters excited about an extra penny on their products, Beaufort County Council feels like waiting on a transportation penny is the best move.
The County plans to look toward state and federal funding to help ease the road issues in the meantime.
So instead of transportation, Beaufort County Council is considering a green space referendum for November, which allows counties to implement a sales tax to buy undeveloped land and preserve it.
The referendum is made possible by legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) that passed this year.
The County Council held a first reading of the proposed tax last week. That penny could yield about $350 million over ten years to protect the "green" areas.
"Maybe buying up large tracts of land and setting it aside, so it's not developed," said Senator Davis. "In other instances, it may be going into communities that have already been permitted and buy down the density, so it's not so developed."
"If we simply sit back and do nothing, in about ten years, we will have about double the rooftops we currently have in Beaufort County. This particular ecosystem simply cannot sustain that level of intense development."
Council wants to make sure it's not too much of a hit to people's pockets, so they are still deciding if they put a whole penny on the ballot.
The second reading will be this month, with a third and final reading in August.