Letters to the Editor

I am a senior living on a fixed income. Increased expenses of any kind create for my family a tightening of the belt. Both my husband and I work out of necessity. So, whenever I read of increased taxes, my first thought is how I will be able to handle this increase.

The November election has a question on the ballot that will affect the entire county, the Capital Projects Sales Tax. This is not an increase tax, it is actually a continuation of the tax that was implemented by the county residents in 2000. I read (with my magnifying glass) the huge list of projects to be accomplished by this tax: road pavings, upgrades on water lines, trucks and equipment for the small municipalities, park improvements, emergency generators, roofing of buildings and many, many other items that are needed.

These funds go not only to the cities of Aiken and North Augusta, but to the eight small municipalities that have a very low tax base and cannot fund fire stations, backhoes and other sorely needed supplies and materials.

Thus far, this tax has funded vehicles (police cars, ambulances, etc.), all dirt road paving, drainage projects, park improvements, a new training facility for the volunteer fire departments, additions to the animal shelter and more.

This penny tax holds the line on millage rate increases to a narrow band, and has allowed Aiken County to institute millage rollbacks for the last two property tax re-assessments.

If the tax is not approved there will be an inevitable property tax increase. With the CPST, approximately 30 percent of the sales tax revenues are from those living outside the county. Without the tax, 100 percent will come directly from my pocket and yours. Personally, I cannot afford to see another increase in property taxes.

I support the continuation of this sales tax and hope you will join me in voting “yes” Nov. 3.

Diane Giddings

Aiken