CORRECTION: A previous version of this article neglected to mention the third reading needed before a November vote.

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – After a great deal of discussion among the Beaufort County Council and residents Monday, a potential 1% sales tax referendum was advanced in an 8 to 2 vote.

The $300 million, four-year proposal to keep green space in the county moves to a third reading in August. Should it pass, voters will decide on the referendum come November.

The Greenspace Sales Tax referendum would allow the county to purchase land for conservation purposes and buy down density in already permitted communities to slow development.

Supporters of the proposal say Beaufort County’s rapid population growth puts environmentally unsustainable pressures on land and waterways.

“I firmly believe in the Greenspace tax, and we must lead the way,” said Chairman Joe Passiment. “It is a taxpayer win; we get to bond the money to preserve land now and pay back the debt on past purchases, saving the taxes payers money in the long run.”

Meanwhile, the council voted down a sales tax referendum that would have designated $770 million for transportation projects. Instead, officials said they’ll try to secure funding from the state and federal governments.