On behalf of Voters Against Sales Tax (VAST), we thank the public for its support in the defeat of the Beaufort County capital projects sales tax proposal. We congratulate and compliment the County Council members. They wisely saw the majority of the projects as a wish list rather than needs, while needed projects are cloaked in either poorly-crafted plans, or unnecessary and illegal requirements.
In these poor economic times, an additional sales tax of even 1 percent would have placed an undue burden on many residents who are at or below the poverty level. It would have strained those struggling to maintain family finances just above those levels.
We also thank the many private citizens who called and wrote to their council members and had the courage and eloquence to step forward at the County Council meetings. They spoke from their hearts. Without them, this battle might still be ongoing.
If this idea is to be considered in the future, projects should be chosen with care, taking full input from the public. It should include careful and detailed plans, including impact statements, costs and sources of alternative funding. Additionally, we urge County Council to submit these projects with respect to state laws and regulations, such as Title 28, Chapter 2, in respect to eminent domain.
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Public safety is always our primary concern, especially for our children and for hurricane evacuation purposes. These issues should be addressed in a due-diligence manner with thorough forethought and planning.