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Sales tax: Former opponents join referendum panel

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

The two members representing the Waccamaw Neck on a newly appointed committee to establish capital projects to benefit from an additional penny-per-dollar sales tax voted against the idea two years ago.

Jim Jerow of Heritage Plantation and Bill Hills of Murrells Inlet were named to a Capital Project Sales Tax Commission this week along with Thomas Alford of Andrews, Larry Baxley of Pleasant Hill, and George Geer III and Tracey Gibson, both of Georgetown.

Jerow was chairman when the county Republican Party opposed adding one cent to the local sales tax to fund nearly $40 million in capital improvement projects such as dredging the shipping channel in Winyah Bay and preparing a spoils site for the dredging of Murrells Inlet along with libraries, paved roads, fire stations and recreation facilities.

Jerow said he would wait and see before forming an opinion about the tax proposal.

Hills said his opposition two years ago was based on the fragile economy. “I was totally opposed to it last time,” Hills said.

“I qualified my opposition at every opportunity by saying I felt like the economy was in a perilous situation. I am not so sure that the economy is better, but we have become accustomed to it and we are moving on in spite of it. Therefore, I think it’s more stable, not necessarily better. Also I think, hopefully, we’re going to be able to have a much more focused use and be better able to spend the money in a way the public will approve of.”

The group’s first meeting is May 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the county offices on Prince Street.

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