Greenville County leaders share ideas for how to fund road repairs

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 10:28 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Greenville County has some of the worst roads and intersections in the state according to county staff. It’s an eye-opener for council leaders and a sign they must make a plan. Right now, they are divided on how to tackle it.

“We have to come up with solutions,” said Councilman Benton Blount.

Dozens of people move into the county daily, but our road maintenance is decades behind schedule.

“We want to attract people and businesses here. but we’re not putting things in place infrastructure wise to maintain the people and the businesses,” said Councilman Alan Mitchell.

County staff says even though Greenville is the most populous county in the state, we’re spending the least amount of money on roads. The county earns about $12 million a year from road fees, enough to pave about 30 miles. Money from the state helps too but won’t cover the need.

“I think there are several different options. I think we have to see what the appetite is for all of them,” said councilman Chris Harrison.

They’ve talked about increased fees while councilman Ennis Fant suggested a penny tax, which would generate millions.

“I think we have to do some consensus building with the citizens of Greenville County about what we’re going to do,” said Fant.

“Money does solve things especially when it comes to roads,” said Harrison.

“If the county citizens get to vote on it, I will be much more in favor of it,” Blount said about a penny sales tax.

So far, taxes are all talk, some say they’d rather cut back on other spending.

“We need to stop spending money where we don’t need to spend. and we need to increase road money where we can, not spend money on things we don’t need to and repair our roads—that’s 10 million dollars right there,” said Councilman Stan Tzouvelakas.

If they do move forward with a penny tax referendum similar to what Spartanburg County is doing—it’s a process and they need a majority vote just to get it on a ballot next year for you to vote.