Spartanburg Co. political party chairs pledge support for penny - FOX Carolina 21

Spartanburg Co. political party chairs pledge support for penny tax referendum

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Three local political party leaders come together to support penny tax referendum (FOX Carolina: 10/30/17). Three local political party leaders come together to support penny tax referendum (FOX Carolina: 10/30/17).
Three local political party leaders come together to support penny tax referendum (FOX Carolina: 10/30/17). Three local political party leaders come together to support penny tax referendum (FOX Carolina: 10/30/17).
Supporters of the penny tax referendum in Spartanburg County came out to hear an announcement ahead of next week's vote (FOX Carolina: 10/30/17) Supporters of the penny tax referendum in Spartanburg County came out to hear an announcement ahead of next week's vote (FOX Carolina: 10/30/17)
Spartanburg Co. resident Don Bramblett showed up at penny tax referendum announcement to show his opposition (FOX Carolina: 10/30/2017). Spartanburg Co. resident Don Bramblett showed up at penny tax referendum announcement to show his opposition (FOX Carolina: 10/30/2017).
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Gathered together in agreement Monday morning, three different local political party leaders with different beliefs all spoke out in support of a big local issue, the penny tax referendum on the upcoming November 7th ballot. 

"These leaders who are standing with me today understand that our local government facilities along with the courthouse have reached a public safety and public health tipping point," said Allen Smith, the President and CEO of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chairs of the Spartanburg County Democratic, Republican, and Tea Party's are all supporting Allen's mission to pass a one cent sales tax.

"I hope this is actually one step of many, because like Allen said, we have a lot of work to do," said Shelly Roehrs, Chair of the Spartanburg Co. Democratic Party.

The tax would go into effect in May 2018 and last for six years. In that time frame, the prediction is it will raise well over $200 million dollars.

Allen said it would help fund a new joint city-county government building to replace some of the ailing ones like the county's out-of-date and mold-plagued judicial center.

"When you've got criminals, convicted criminals walking the same hallways as kids going in and out of family court, that's a public health crisis not to mention the mold issues, so it's got to be addressed," said Josh Kimbrell, Chair of the Spartanburg Co. Republican Party.

"And like Josh, I am very much in favor of a temporary tax that will sunset rather than a property tax that will go on forever," said Karen Martin.

During the announcement, while there were a crowd of supporters, one resident named Don Bramblett held up a sign in opposition. 

Bramblett said while he supports the cause, he's not in favor of the tax increase.

"I don't support paying for it this way. They need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more fair and equitable way of raising this necessary revenue," said Bramblett.

Smith maintained this is the best option for the voters and thinks the message sent from this show of support is clear.

"It's unprecedented to have the three parties come together on one singular issue and I think it demonstrates the need," said Smith.

Again, voters will decide on the referendum on Tuesday, November 7th. Polls are open from 7am to 7pm. You can learn more about the Chamber's position on the referendum by clicking here.

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