The 2019 Penny Referendum is an additional 1% sales tax on goods and services that began May 1, 2019. It is established to fund important projects to improve our local roadways and bridges. Here are a few answers to questions that are circulating throughout Beaufort County:


Q: Who is collecting the tax?

A: The tax will be collected by merchants and remitted to the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR), who will then provide Beaufort County with a check for the collected tax on a quarterly basis.


Q: When will the Penny Referendum end?

A: It will end either in four years, or when $120M is raised.


Q: Why do we need $120M?

A: $80M will be allocated toward traffic improvements and bridge reconstruction on US278 near Hilton Head Island, $30M will be allocated toward US21 corridor improvements on Lady’s Island, and $10M will be allocated toward the installation of sidewalks and pathways throughout the county.


Q: Are there exemptions?

A: A good rule of thumb is that the 1% will be applied to anything that the state 6% sales tax applies to. Anything that is exempt from the 6% should also be exempt from the 1%.

More details can be found here.

You can also view our informational sideshow.