SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A press conference was held in Spartanburg on Wednesday to discuss more on the penny sales tax that will be on your ballot next month.
“Our roads have got to be fixed, they got to be fixed right now, and this is the best and only way to fix them,” said Allen Smith, CEO of OneSpartanburgInc.
As election day gets closer, county leaders are diving deeper into how the penny sales tax would create an impact in Spartanburg for the next 6 years.
They’ve asked Clemson University professors to study the referendum’s effect and come up with exact numbers on how visitors would play a role.
“In this case, that $478 million in road construction projects will support over 3,800 jobs, generate approximately $240 million in labor income and generate nearly $18 million in local government revenue and have a total output effect of over $573 million during the six-year project timeline,” said Bob Brookover, principal lecturer at Clemson University.
The research was performed using a REMI model, or computer-generated analysis tool, to assess the economic impact. It showcased how and where the county would be bringing in money from visitors.
“Because of Spartanburg County’s location with two highways running through town, you have a strong base of manufacturing jobs and people working in the county that are spending money here every day,” said Brookover. “You have people coming from outside the county to shop.”
City officials said there is no other funding solution that would provide revenue from visitors, other than the penny sales tax. They said they’re hoping businesses and residents don’t have to face a property tax increase.
“The Clemson University study finds that 34-39 percent of the revenue if we say yes on november 7, will come from people that don’t even live here,” said Smith. “$163 million to $186 million will come from visitors to help us fix our roads. Property tax increase? Zero revenue comes from visitors.”
Early voting starts on October 23rd and will last until November 3rd. There would be 577 road projects completed if the penny sales tax is passed, and those will all be listed on your ballot in November.