1% Local Option Sales Tax Referendum

This tax is imposed to reduce the property tax burden on citizens living in the County. The local option sales and use tax is authorized under Code Section 4-10-10. The tax is on all purchases made by visitors or residents at retail locations taxable under the state sales and use tax.

Examples of items exempted from sales tax include most non-prepared food items, prescription drugs, and medical supplies.

32 of 46 South Carolina counties have implemented this sales tax to date.

Local Option Sales Tax approval requires voters to approve on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

The 1% tax will begin to be collected on May 1, 2022, if passed by voters.

According to estimates prepared by the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, a 1% local options sales tax would generate approximately $49 million in revenue in Beaufort County in FY 2022-23.

$32 million would be allocated back to resident taxpayers in the form of property tax credits.

Local Option Sales Tax can be repealed no earlier than two years after implementation with a petition of 15% qualified voters to the County Council and a referendum the next election day. 

LOST Proceeds

Tax Relief
  • 71% of the money collected is placed into the Property Tax Credit Fund.
  • The tax property owners pay will be reduced and be shown as a credit on your property tax bill
Funding for local governments
  • 29% from the revenue fund would be used by local municipalities to supplement county and municipal operations in order to provide better Emergency Medical Services, Road and building maintenance, and community services.
How much Property Tax relief will a taxpayer receive?
  • The amount of property tax relief will depend on where you live. Unincorporated areas and the City of Beaufort along with the Towns of Bluffton, Port Royal and Hilton Head each have different property tax rates.
  • South Carolina DOR is currently working estimates for each area of Beaufort County.
  • If the voters feel the tax has not provided enough tax relief or that it is not needed any longer, the tax can be repealed.  It must be no earlier than two years after implementation, and a petition of 15% of qualified voters must be presented to the County Council.  A referendum will be placed on the ballet the next election day.