Evidently, our state legislature is about to give us Aiken County voters the opportunity to increase our sales tax by 1 percent as a means to raise funds for much-needed public school capital improvements.

Furthermore, the initiative includes a provision for tapping this new revenue source to push down property tax rates.

If implemented, this plan amounts to an egregious, regressive shift in tax burden toward lower-income citizens who must spend a much higher percentage of their income on local goods and services that will become subject to this 14 percent sales tax increase (now 7 percent going to 8 percent) over the next 10 years.

How can it possibly be a good idea to shift the cost burden of Aiken County school capital improvements from those who can best afford it property owners and businesses (who are among the greatest local beneficiaries of improved educational outcomes over the long term) to those residents who can least afford it and then give said property owners and businesses a bonus by reducing their real estate taxes over 10 years?

This is a bad idea, unjust idea, and another South Carolina case of the powerful hoodwinking the powerless. Aiken County needs to find a better way. This one is too easy.

Art Burnside