Consider This: Education Penny

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Have you noticed the building boom on local education campuses? Horry County Schools, Coastal Carolina and HGTC have significant construction projects underway.

Consider This: One great – and unfortunate – thing about our community is that we support our own. It's great because we know that if we don't do it, it won't get done. We make it happen. However, it's unfortunate that we have to do this in the first place. But we're a donor area and Columbia will never return to us what we send to them. One example is The Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax, or Education Penny. The initiative received overwhelming support in 2009 and since its inception it has generated nearly $166 million. Of that money Horry County Schools receives 80%, CCU around 13% and HGTC around 7%.

The penny tax can only be used for construction related projects and was projected to generate $1 billion over 15 years. However, due to the economic downturn the receipts are trailing projections by 20%. Hopefully things will pick up and in future years we will make up the shortfall.

Regardless, the Education Penny is a huge success and it's nice to see the new facilities coming out of the ground. These projects fill a need with our current students and better position our schools for future growth and educational excellence.

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