HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – One penny may not seem like much, but over the last seven years, Horry County has collected more than $400 million in the Riding on a Penny Sales Tax, which expires this month.
It was put into place to fund county road construction projects and started May 1, 2009. Part of the agreement was to take the sales tax off after all projects were completed, or after a seven-year period, whichever came first.
While the sales tax will expire April 30, some of the projects are still not finished. Many commuters worry construction, such as paving International Drive, will be left in the dust when the funds dry out.
Horry County spokesperson, Lisa Bourcier, reassures that will not happen, because over the allotted time period, the county has been able to collect enough money to fund all 15 projects.
"While the sales tax expires April 30, that doesn't mean we have to spend the money by then," explained Bourcier.
On May 1 you will see a small difference on your receipts when you go out to eat or go shopping. It's a small relief for business owners and consumers, but many agree every little bit helps. It certainly helped the county raise money for the construction projects.
Bourcier said right now the county is waiting for permits to start paving International Drive. The next project will be widening Glenns Bay Road, with the bidding process starting in June.
While the sales tax is not being renewed right away, the Horry County Council is looking at having another penny sales tax referendum for roads on the 2016 General Election ballot.