CPST Commission & County Council Timeline
Approved October 26, 2017
July 10, 2017
September 30, 2017
October 30, 2017
November 30, 2017
December 11, 2017
February 5, 2018
March 19, 2018
March 20, 2018 – April 30, 2018
May 11, 2018
June 11, 2018
June 15, 2018
June 20, 2018
July 9, 2018
August 13, 2018
August 15, 2018
October 12, 2018
October 17, 2018
November 6, 2018
November 12, 2018
December 12, 2018
*All County Council meetings start at 7:30pm unless otherwise noted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Abbeville County Council is preparing a capital project sales tax, or “CPST” referendum. The CPST Commission will take an approach geared at improving Abbeville County as a whole through several different focuses. The preparations being made now will support a referendum that will be voted on in November 6, 2018. To this end, County Council, acting under statutory CPST requirements, has approved a resolution calling for the appointment of a CPST Commission.
Why hold a referendum to pass a one (1) percent sales tax in Abbeville County?
- Much needed capital projects in Abbeville County can be funded without a property tax increase.
- Sales tax dollars raised in Abbeville County stay in Abbeville County.
- With a sales tax, out of County residents significantly contribute towards the capital investment of Abbeville County capital projects.
- The projects chosen will reflect the needs throughout Abbeville County to include the incorporated areas of Abbeville, Calhoun Falls, Due West, Donalds, and Lowndesville, and will be available for use by all County residents.
- Abbeville County will use a committee system to evaluate capital projects. The five (5) committees are Economic Development, Infrastructure, Parks Recreation & Tourism, Public Safety and Quality of Life.
- By law, the money raised by the 1% sales tax can only be spent on the projects approved by the voters. Residents will see on the ballot how the penny is being spent and Abbeville County is committed to reporting progress on the approved projects to the residents.
Who determines what projects will be on the list?
5 committees were assembled, each made up of 5 Abbeville citizens with varying backgrounds and advisors from the county and surrounding areas. Abbeville County is advertising for and accepting applications from any organization or individual that wanted to submit a project for consideration. The 5 committees will then submit those qualified projects to the CPST Commission for discussion of which projects should be included on the ballot. The CPST Commission will make the final determination on the projects to be included in a priority listing.
Can the list be changed or be amended before election day?
No, when the CPST Commission makes its final recommendation on the list of projects, County Council must accept it in whole or not at all. Statutorily County Council cannot amend the list of projects once they have been finalized.
Who will pay for all of this?
It is estimated that around 30% of the local sales tax is paid by people who live outside of Abbeville County, but travel through or work in Abbeville County. The remainder is paid by residents of Abbeville County.
Does the 1% sales tax apply to groceries?
No. Unprepared food items, such as those eligible for purchase with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons, are exempt from the capital projects sales tax.
If approved, will the additional sales tax go on forever?
No. By State law, the 1% sales tax can last a maximum of 8 years. Any extension beyond this point would have to follow the same process and would require another referendum vote by Abbeville County voters.
Should the referendum pass, can Abbeville County change the projects?
No. State law does not allow any changes to the projects.
Can the money collected for these projects be used on other things?
No. The list is an all-or-nothing vote. Under State law, the money generated must be spent on the things listed on the ballot.
What happens if the sales tax doesn’t generate enough money?
Much effort will be given to monetizing the projects to include adding a cost inflation factor. All projects will be expected to complete. However, if the 1% sales tax will not fund all of the projects, unfinished projects will not be started unless alternative sources of funding are secured.
Will there be a bond issued?
Abbeville County Council ultimately has the authority to issue a bond attached to the referendum. The CPST Commission has taken the position that it will not recommend a bond be attached to the referendum. In discussions with County Council, they will take this recommendation and intend to follow suit.
How can I get involved?
The CPST Commission is always interested in hearing the concerns of Abbeville County citizens and working to spread awareness on the CPST effort. Should you have project ideas, general questions, want to volunteer, or need more information please contact one of the contacts below.
Lee W. Logan – CPST Commission Chairman
David Garner – County Director