JENKINSVILLE — Is sales tax revenue being shared equally among the counties three municipalities? That question came from Jenkinsville Mayor Gregory Ginyard at the February Jenkinsville Town Council Meeting.
During his mayor’s report, Ginyard raised the issue of Jenkinsville County property tax bills being replaced by county sales tax revenue. In 2006 the county held a penny sales tax referendum whereby sales tax took the place of property tax in Ridgeway and Winnsboro. Ginyard wondered if that has been the case in Jenkinsville as well.
According to the S.C. Department of Revenue sales and use tax rates of South Carolina, Fairfield County passed a 1 percent local option sales tax in 2006. Jenkinsville was incorporated as a municipality five years ago. Ginyard confirmed that Jenkinsville does not collect its own municipality-based property taxes from residents but he said that the area does pay county sales tax.
In Ginyard’s mind, if a one cent sales tax referendum was passed in 2006 and that tax money was used to replace county property taxes in Ridgeway and Winnsboro, then as a chartered county municipality, Jenkinsville also should receive the same arrangement.
“If there was a county wide resolution that was voted on to increase the one cent sales tax and of that one cent sales tax is split up among the municipalities then Jenkinsville should have gotten a part of that anyway. Jenkinsville is a part of the same county,” Ginyard said. “If there is a one cent tax then why were we not included in the allotment if it were a county wide sales tax? We spend our money over there. Just because we don’t have Wal-mart in Jenkinsville, we don’t get benefits? We are looking into if we should be receiving a portion of that or not.”
This line of reasoning from Ginyard came after he read in the newspaper about the $23.5 million in property taxes paid by V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant to Fairfield County and read the breakdown of the bill as provided by the county treasurer’s office.
When contacted about the issue, County Administrator Phil Hinely said that Jenkinsville does not yet levy taxes, so therefore there is nothing to offset in the nuclear plant property tax bill for Jenkinsville. Ridgeway and Winnsboro, by contrast, do levy taxes, hence the offset by using the one cent sales tax funds.
“The Jenkinsville millage rate is zero. Ridgeway and Winnsboro have a millage so credit is applied against it,” Hinely said.
He also said that Jenkinsville currently does receive funds from sales tax revenue on a per capita, or population basis. The funding is not base on the amount of sales conducted in the region.
Hinely said Jenkinsville could not receive both a payout from sales tax revenue and a credit at the same time.
Consequently, each municipality is being treated equally under the financial policy Ginyard had questioned.
In other business:
Ginyard reported that Roger Sears with the S.C. Department of Transportation has obtained maps relating to right of way clearance. Ginyard said there are a few places where encroachment means grading and building up of property will be required for sidewalks to be added. Also right of way consent will be needed from property owners.
The design work by DOT is complete and they hope to have a layout design to present to council in March or April. In May a bidding process would begin for the project with the construction starting in July if things go as planned. A ribbon cutting will be in August or September.
Ginyard said the fishing tournament committee meets Feb. 12 with a tri-state public relations official to advise about marketing, fliers and publicity for the fledgling event. The official will advise them how to approach other fishing clubs and try to get them into the tournament. Two prizes will be awarded to anglers competing in the tournament. One prize goes to the largest small mouth bass. The second prize is for the angler who catches the five fish that weigh the most combined. Those fish need not be all small mouth bass.
By having the two prizes, Ginyard hopes the tournament will appeal to more fishermen than just those who go after the small mouth bass that migrate into Lake Monticello from the Broad River.
Council met in executive session with Ryan Slatton to discuss contractual matters. No action was taken in executive session.
The December and January financial reports passed unanimously. The two months’ reports were evaluated because in January the council did not meet for lack of a quorum being present. Jenkinsville Town Council next meets at 7 p.m. March 6 at Jenkinsville Town Hall on Highway 215.