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Lexington County Penny Tax ballot proposal passes second reading, 8-0

The sales tax could increase the county's rate from 7% to 8%.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — Voters in Lexington County could decide in November whether to pay an additional one percent on their sales tax rate. 

County Council discussed and voted in favor of the increase, 8-0 at the council meeting Tuesday night. 

This is after they heard community reaction for and against the tax at its second reading. 

This sales tax is different than the 'Pennies at the Pump'. 

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"The funding that the state got from the two cent gas tax is merely used for bigger roads like interstate widening, interstate resurfacing, bridges on interstates, major road, nothing really toward rural roads and that's where most of your roads are in Lexington County," said Larry Brigham, Lexington County council member for District Two.

Councilman Brigham says the number one topic of conversation from his constituents when they call is roads.

"At least 75, maybe even 80% of the calls that I receive of complaints are either dirt road related or paved road related," Brigham said.

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So, in line with that logic, that's the sole focus of this tax - road improvements.

"I have 270 miles of dirt roads in my district alone. Not all those are going to be on this ballot, but there's a large number of them that will be on this ballot where we'll have dirt to pave," Brigham said.

Data collected from the Department of Revenue shows this tax could generate around $536,000,000 over the next seven years.

That's a lot of money going to roads like Fish Hatchery Road, Highway 34, Pond Branch Road and Quinton Ricard Road to name a few. 

Pennies pushing progress and paving is the idea council is getting at.

This sales tax will have its final reading July 26, 2022. 

That meeting is taking place at 212 South Lake Drive in Lexington.

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