Need for Better Roads Could Mean New Richland County Tax
You could pay a little extra the next time you shop
by Janet Parker
A proposal from a Richland County citizen's committee may cost you one more cent of sales tax.
The committee suggests a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax to pay for transportation improvements. The $394 million project would improve two dozen roads and intersections in the county.
The most expensive projects suggested are I-20 at the Broad River Interchange, widening Shop Road to five lanes, and building a pedestrian overpass on downtown's Assembly Street.
Some people in Richland County think the tax is a good idea.
"I think sales tax is the fairest tax anyway," says Billy Dean of Irmo.
"I believe that's a good idea because people who drive and use the highways will be paying for the infrastructure," says Five Points businesssman Dean Ellison.
Not only would the tax improve road structures it could make commuting more efficient too.
"I know that I've got friends that live in the Irmo area and work in the downtown area and their commute is forty five minutes when it could be just a twenty minute drive," say Kelly Tabor of Columbia.
The tax is one of many options of raising money for road improvements. The next steps start with County Council's approval and putting it on the ballot for voters to decide.