Florence citizens to decide fate of "Penny Tax"

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) The Penny Tax in Florence expires April 30, 2014, and citizens will have the final vote to keep or negate this law.

The Penny Tax is a one-cent tax that is added to everything bought in Florence County. The money collected from this tax is used on roads, county buildings and equipment for Emergency Services. State law clearly defines what the Penny Tax money can be used on.

In 2006, the people voted to impose this tax to bring much-needed improvements to Florence County. That tax funded six road projects, such as the widening of Pine Needles Road, Timmonsville Highway and TV Road.

James Schofield, Florence County Chairman, said if people vote in November to eliminate this tax, the current sales tax will be reduced to seven cents.

"We have an obligation to put it out there, and let the people make a choice on what they want to do and whatever they decide is what we will do in Florence County," Schofield said.

Some Florence County residents said they are in favor of keeping the tax, while others said they'd rather see a reduction in the county's sales tax.

Schofield said the present reactions are reflective of the vote that occurred in 2006. The vote in 2006 passed with 55 percent of voters approving the Penny Tax, while 45 percent disagreed with it.

Schofield says three people in the county have been appointed to a committee which will be responsible for hearing the public's opinion. Those meeting dates and times have not been released.