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Out of State Firm to Oversee Penny Tax Projects

11:02 PM, Jan 13, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Members of the Richland County Penny Tax Advisory Committee has some concerns tonight about council selecting an out of state firm to oversee projects that will be funded with the recently approved Penny sales Tax.

The new tax took effect last may. The Penny tax is set to bring in 50 million dollars every year to Richland County.

Lawmakers told voters that the tax would create local jobs and keep money in Richland County, but a decision made by council last year has some committee members questioning that promise.

In December, council members were given five applicants to be the manager that would oversee penny tax projects.

An internal scoring system was created by county leaders. In the end a group headquartered in Tennessee called ICA was selected.

Councilman Norman Jackson says that he along with council members Seth Rose, Julie Ann Dixon, and Torrey Rush, who is the husband of News 19's evening anchor Darci Strickland voted for the company that scored the highest and it wasn't the Tennessee firm; instead it was someone local.

The other seven council members voted for ICA, which does has a local office here in Columbia but again, they're headquartered in Tennessee. 

"My concern is how much of the money will be spent in Richland County, how many companies here will get jobs, because the referendum was based on local initiative and spending the money locally and that is one of the main reasons why I voted the way I voted because of what was on the referendum and what the citizens voted for," said Jackson.

Monday night we reached out to several of the members who voted for ICA, we are still waiting for them to get back with us.

Below is the contact information for the Richland County Council Members. If you would like to contact your council member CLICK HERE.

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