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Some say proposed Dorchester Local Option Sales Tax is unfair

Some say proposed Dorchester Local Option Sales Tax is unfair

WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

Dorchester County Council is preparing to vote tonight on approving $34,000 to pay for a special election in November to put the Local Option Sales Tax on the ballot. Supporters say the plan would allow folks who don't pay property taxes or live in Dorchester County to pay more of their fair share.

However, others believe the Local Option Sales Tax itself is unfair.

Summerville lawyer and Former State Senator Mike Rose says he opposes the plan. "What I call the reverse Robin Hood affect. It's taxing the low income and middle-class in a sales tax in order to get property tax relief that will benefit mostly the wealthy commercial property owners."

He says this is the case because there will be a new 1% tax on all retail goods in Dorchester County.  That money will be credited toward the property tax bill for property owners in the county.

By law, 71% of the new tax will be credited to property tax bills.

As an example, a $150,000 home in unincorporated Dorchester County will be credited $55.56. That means if that owner spends more than $5556 in the county, they will pay more than their credit. If they spend less, they pay less than their tax credit.

But keep in mind, If you own no property, you still pay the new 1%, but you get no credits.

Councilman Larry Hargett voted against approving the referendum. He says the voters have said they don't want to pass a local option sales tax. "This has been before our county three different times in the 90s.  I think 94, 96 and 98, and all three times the voters turned it down. So we'll see what the voters want to do with this one."

County Council will be voting on that special election funding for the referendum Monday night at council chambers in St. George.

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.

 

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