Spartanburg Co. voters say yes to penny sales tax hike to pay fo - FOX Carolina 21

Spartanburg Co. voters say yes to penny sales tax hike to pay for new government complex

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Spartanburg County officials said voters passed a penny tax referendum on Tuesday.

The referendum asked voters whether they agree to a one cent sales tax increase in the county for six years to pay for the construction of a new Judicial Center, Municipal Court/Police Building, Emergency Operations Center, Judicial Center parking garage, City/County Government Center, and a Government Center parking garage.

The question appeared on the general election ballot. Per unofficial results, 16,901 residents voted in favor of the tax hike and 10,159 were opposed.

County officials said the temporary sales tax increase would generate about $217 million and say any money not used in the construction projects would be used for road and bridge improvements.

The additional penny sales tax will go into effect on May 1, 2018 and is expected to raise around $37 million dollars each year.

Items such as groceries, prescription medicines, gas, and maximum tax items (such as cars and personal property sales) will be exempt from the additional tax.

County Administrator Katherine O'Neill said the new courthouse is expected to have a 2 year design period followed by a 2 year construction period with occupancy in late 2012 to early 2022, the City/County Government Center has a potential occupancy date in late 2023 to early 2024, the Municipal Court/Police Building has a potential occupancy date between 2022 and 2024 and the Emergency Operations Center has a potential occupancy date of late 2021 to early 2022.

O'Neill explained the projects are intentionally staggered because of the payment plan. The site analysis for the location of the City/County complex and Municipal Court/Police Building will happen early in the project timeline. County Council plans to put the City/County complex within the downtown core business district, according to O'Neill. 

Spartanburg Clerk of Court Hope Blackley said the preliminary plan for the courthouse is for the new one to be built in the same location as the current one.

Click here to read more about the 2017 Capital Penny Sales Tax Referendum.

MORE NEWS: Construction to begin on Franklin School in Spartanburg

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