Aiken County 1-cent sales tax passes despite concern

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AIKEN --- The third renewal of Aiken County's 1-cent sales and use tax was one item on Tuesday's ballot that wasn't defeated in the name of conservatism.

The referendum, which is expected to bring in between $130 million to $145 million, was approved by 55 percent of voters.

After months of council's hand-wringing over whether projects considered special interests by groups such as the Aiken Tea Party and We The People would kill the measure, voters showed they weren't going to let one or two projects kill the entire deal.

Projects requested by the county's municipalities, including the Aiken Railroad Depot, put the referendum in contention as residents questioned which projects are essential.

Aiken County Council Chairman Ronnie Young said every voter wouldn't be happy with every project on a 14-page list.

"I just think people realized the importance and what it does mean to the county," he said.

Details among the 21 precincts vetoing the referendum showed that voters' feelings toward it weren't quite what county council members had expected.

Throughout the process, council members touted small communities such as Monetta and Perry as the true winners of the referendum. With fewer revenue sources, Young said they were dependent on the vote passing more than other areas. Council members expected areas such as North Augusta and centralized neighborhoods in the city of Aiken more likely to vote against the sales tax.

Those unincorporated areas were the ones who voted against the referendum, and votes show those communities were torn by the decision.

In areas such as Gloverville, Warrenville and Beech Island it came down to fewer than 20 votes to approve the referendum.

Five-year Aiken resident Carole Pincavage said regardless of opinions on projects and how the referendum passed, a 1-cent referendum is equitable.

Pincavage, who is a supporter of Gov.-elect Nikki Haley, said she supported a more conservative approach overall, but locally, voting for the sales tax was the best option.

"There are things like emergency services and roads that are just as important to tourists and visitors as they are to residents," she said. "This puts the burden on everyone."

We The People member Debbie Nix, who rallied against the referendum, said although they lost she's proud of the time and energy put into researching her government's spending.

"I feel that what we did was an act of conscience and all voters should attempt to know where their money goes."

The referendum will begin in early 2012.

Sales tax referendum

Aiken County Sales and Use Tax Referendum
Results by year:

2000
 Yes, 23,992
 No, 22,158

2004
Yes, 33,015
No, 22,334

2010
Yes  25,235     
No 20,543

Source: Aiken County Registration and Election

Results by precinct
Precinct Yes No Total
AIKEN #1410196606
AIKEN #2187213400
AIKEN #3261198459
AIKEN #4116112228
AIKEN #5273200473
AIKEN #6413218631
BATH124154278
BEECH ISLAND287301588
BELVEDERE #9289218507
CAROLINA HEIGHTS210174384
CHINA SPRINGS249260509
CLEARWATER122134256
COLLEGE ACRES398284682
EUREKA247235482
GLOVERVILLE176197373
GRANITEVILLE210202412
JACKSON294267561
LANGLEY186247433
LYNWOOD126160286
MILLBROOK511372883
MONETTA226251477
MONTMORENCI #22522404926
NEW ELLENTON304301605
NEW HOLLAND156166322
N. AUGUSTA #25282171453
N. AUGUSTA #26382276658
N. AUGUSTA #27482284766
N. AUGUSTA #28323234557
N. AUGUSTA #29245169414
OAK GROVE164168332
PERRY145172317
SALLEY157123280
SHAWS FORK141127268
SHILOH361328689
SIX POINTS #35317256573
TABERNACLE138108246
TALATHA261265526
VAUCLUSE166155321
WAGENER383349732
WARD304219523
WARRENVILLE266301567
WHITE POND112173285
WINDSOR362315677
BELVEDERE #44254257511
MISTY LAKES295379674
SIX POINTS #46227252479
AIKEN #47318188506
HAMMOND334391725
WILLOW SPRINGS246260506
BREEZY HILL321341662
MIDLAND VALLEY #51272288560
LEVELS418256674
HOLLOW CREEK453236689
N. AUGUSTA #54196198394
N. AUGUSTA #55250180430
COUCHTON305284589
REDDS BRANCH198151349
FOX CREEK #58337244581
PINE FOREST256252508
GEM LAKES7705611,331
SILVER BLUFF312273585
BELVEDERE #62238246484
ASCAUGA LAKE410371781
CEDAR CREEK #64509296805
SLEEPY HOLLOW #65470383853
HITCHCOCK #66313193506
N. AUGUSTA #67338190528
N. AUGUSTA #68363241604
ANDERSON POND #69465226691
SANDSTONE #70451297748
MIDLAND VALLEY #71336344680
LEVELS No.72198133331
FOX CREEK #73342228570
BELVEDERE #7411694210
SOUTH AIKEN #75354316670
SOUTH AIKEN #76514250764
Absentee271120244,735
Total:25,23520,54345,778
Comments (1) Add comment
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libertarianvoter
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libertarianvoter 11/05/10 - 02:22 pm
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Good to know people in the

Good to know people in the wealthy parts of Aiken voted for this. They even said this would mostly benefit Perry and Monetta, and they didn't even have a Yes win in their precincts. Enjoy the depot....

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