BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — A Beaufort County citizens committee could have the solution for road and bridge issues in the county.

But it could cost you, in the form of an extra penny on your sales tax bill.

“The committee wanted to ensure recommendations matched the long-term transportation goals and at the same time benefited every citizen in our County, said Dean Moss, Chairman of the 19 member Committee.

“The recommendations I am about to present to you were unanimously adopted by the group,” explained Moss.

The penny tax would raise $700 million over the next ten years.

  • $50 million to improve safety around the county
  • $50 million more to pave current dirt roads north of the Broad River
  • $40 million more for some of the improvements Hilton Head needs as part of the 278 bridge project
  • Technology, bike and pedestrian path improvements

“With this amount of projects that we need from an infrastructure standpoint you could never really add enough to the property tax roll,” said Eric Greenway, Beaufort County Administrator. “You could but it would be such an astronomical number that you would never be able to make a dent in that infrastructure need.”

The County intends to create a comprehensive plan for each program and follow the highest design practices for the large projects. Community involvement and feedback will be critical to making these projects successful.

“We are behind I wouldn’t say far behind,” said Greenway. “Anyone that travels highway 170 or highway 278 at different times of day. I understand the nature of that. They may disagree.”

As opposed to the previous local options sales tax which was voted down last year, this tax hike has specific projects and monetary numbers connected to it from all across the County.

County leaders say as much as 40% of the sales tax money won’t come from locals, but the tourists coming to enjoy their vacation.

“It helps take the burden off the people that reside here, work here, live here in a permanent manner,” said Eric Greenway.

Project Programs
$60M to create Greenbelts, acquiring property to establish a balance between environmental protection and rapid development growth. (All)
$25M in Mass Transit; including Ferry Transport, to get people to work faster (All)
$50M to enhance safety around our roadways (All)
$50M to pave county-owned dirt roads (North of the Broad River)
$60M to resurfacing roadways to bring all roadways up to a very good rating (All)
$50M for joint use pathways following the Beaufort County Connects Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan 2021. (All)
$50m Transportation Technologies/Access to bring the latest technologies in traffic control, signals, and other areas to Beaufort County. (All)
$20 Resiliency funding to harden roadways against large hurricanes and rising sea levels. (North of the Broad River)
Individual Projects
$80M for the SC 170 Corridor improvements from US 278 to SC 462 (Okatie/Beaufort)
$75M for US 21 and US 21 (Bus)/SC 281 Corridor Improvements from Bell Bridge to Boundary Street and Wood Memorial Bridge to improve capacity. (Beaufort/Port Royal)
$20M for SC 46 from SC 170 to Jasper County and safety improvements from SC170 to Buckwalter that do not disrupt the Scenic Byway designation (Bluffton)
$40M Hilton Head Project – Intersection Improvements, Pathways, and Resurfacing (Hilton Head)
$40M for the US 278 Corridor Improvement/Enhancements project to support the citizens of the Town of Hilton Head’s suggestions for the project. (Hilton Head)
$40M Lady’s Island Corridor to complete all the Lady’s Island Corridor Traffic Improvements. (Lady’s Island/St. Helena)
$40M Bluffton Regional Roadway Network Implementation for any or all Bluffton projects listed as priorities in the approved LATS Transportation Plan. (Bluffton)

County Council will have final say at their meeting on Monday. They can decide if they want to go with the current project list as its written. Put it on the ballot in November or wait until 2024, if at all.

It will then go through three readings before being officially put on any ballot.