Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, et al., are still upset over Beaufort County Council's decision to not put the capital sales-tax referendum on the November ballot. They keep repeating the same insinuation -- that it's really only a half-penny tax on Beaufort County citizens.
Here's a quote from the mayor's weekly newsletter: "While some seem to be in the dark on the percentage of sales tax generated from non-Beaufort County residents, a USCB study for the Town of Hilton Head Island indicated that more than half of the sales tax collected in Beaufort County is generated from non-residents."
The statement might be technically true; however, that refers to tax revenue.
The statement is disingenuous, however, because what will impact the poor citizens of the county at the cash register is not the total dollars but the tax rate.
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We will not pay a half-cent tax; we will pay the whole tax.
Also, here's a portion of a letter signed by Blakely Williams, president and CEO of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, that appeared in the same newsletter: "The capital penny addresses many needs in the county and provides new amenities, infrastructure and venues that further enhance the quality of life in Beaufort County."
The amenities and venues that Williams describes will enhance the quality of life for a tiny percentage (if any) of the poor people who are affected most by this most regressive of taxes.
If you must have a capital improvements tax, make sure everyone benefits from those improvements.
Henry A. Robertson