CCSD OKs one-cent sales tax extension request

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The Charleston County School Board approved a measure to ask voters to extend the one-cent sales tax to help renovate schools.

Board members have a list of 35 projects valued at nearly $500 million. The list includes things from building new schools and stadiums to renovating old ones.

"We're hoping taxpayers will support this. It's good for children and schools. We don't have the money in our budget to actually go out and build new buildings and do maintenance ourselves," said Rev. Chris Collins.

The tax was previously approved by voters in 2010, and has generated $250 million. But it's set to expire in two years unless voters approve an extension until 2023.

"What it does, it allows us the capacity to build much faster. In some cases a new school replacing an old one; upgrades to heating and A/C; additions like an auditorium and expanding cafeterias; updating technology and security," said Collins.

The board approved putting the tax extension back on the ballot and finalized the project list. But with some areas seeing new growth and others seeing a decline, the biggest concern came with what projects should come first.

"If we finalize it, we can't change it. It's done. I'm hoping the board will wait about a year or two out and say, 'This is the finalized list, let's live with that,'" Collins said.

Collins said his wish to hold off finalizing the list may not come true. It's possible the board will approve the list in either August or September.

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