Q. What is a Capital Project Sales Tax?

A. A Capital Project Sales Tax, also called a CPST, is an additional 1 percent sales that may   be approved by a referendum vote to fund specific capital projects. The South Carolina statue that governs the CPST may be found at Section 4-10-300.

Q. For how long may the CPST be collected?

A. The state law limits the collection to no more than 8-years. If approved by a referendum it may be extended for subsequent 7-year terms.

Q. When would the CPST go into effect?

A. Collection of the CPST would begin on May 1, 2021 and end on April 30, 2029.

Q. How much would the CPST generate?

A. It is estimated that over an 8-year period it would generate $10 million.

Q. How can I be assured that the CPST will not be collected beyond the approved time period?   

A. S.C. law requires the time period of the CPST cannot be exceeded. The 1 percent must be removed on the specified date.  In order to continue the collection of the sales tax, a new referendum would have to be voted on by county residents

Q. How was the capital project to be funded by CPST selected?

A. S.C. Code Section 4-10-320 requires a commission of six people to be established to identify the capital project to be included in the referendum, to prioritize them and to formulate the referendum question that will appear on the ballot. The six members are statutorily required to represent the municipalities and geographic regions of the county.

Q. Will the additional 1 percent CPST apply to food, prescription medicine, etc.?

A. The 1 percent CPST will only apply to those goods and services that are subject to the state’s 6 percent sales tax. Food and prescription medicine are currently exempt from the 6 percent sales tax and would be exempt from the 1 percent CPST.

Q. What happened if more money is collected than is needed to complete the approved projects?

A. If excess funds are collected during the approved period, they must be applied to the approved projects in the form of additions or enhancements. If the total funds cannot be expended in this manner, they must be used to fund additional capital projects that are other permitted in S.C. Code Section 4-10-330.

Q. Can a subsequent referendum be held to renew or extend the CPST?

A. Yes, a subsequent referendum can be conducted to renew the 1 percent CPST. This would require the formulation of a new list of capital projects and the identification of a new timeline. It should be noted that a “renewal” CPST may not exceed seven years.

Q. What is a law enforcement center?

A. A law enforcement center consolidates the services of the sheriff’s office, county detention center, and magistrate’s office under one roof. This strategically places the needed services together and reduces costs for operations and maintenance.

Q. Why do we need a law enforcement center?

A. The current sheriff’s office was constructed in 1980 when there was a sheriff, one clerk, and a staff of less than 10 employees. Today the building holds over 60 inmates, another 60 employees (including road deputies). The new facility would also provide space for the magistrate’s office, which will include a courtroom.

Q. What is wrong with the detention center?

A. In January 2019 the Compliance, Standards, and Inspections Division of the S.C. Department of Corrections notified County Council that the detention center is not in compliance with state requirements for minimum standards. Edgefield County must make the necessary, and costly, corrections to comply with the state standards or close the detention center.

In October 2019, a detention center inspection by our insurance carrier which also cited violations of the minimum standards. These violations included inmate overcrowding, lack of staffing to cover mandated posts, inadequate inmate intercom systems, inferior ration of toilets and showers to the number of inmates housed in the unit, insufficient furnishings due to overcrowding, and the inability to properly separate sentenced and pre-trial inmates.

Q. What happens if the state closes the detention center?

A. Edgefield County will need to contract with a detention center to house persons arrested and are awaiting trial. This will result in deputies having to transport arrested suspects to the contracted facility after the initial arrest for booking. Deputies will need to transport the inmates back to Edgefield County for all court proceedings. Edgefield County will also have to pay the detention center a fee for housing Edgefield County inmates.

Examples of Needs:

Current control room provides for video monitoring only.

Proposed control room will provide video monitoring, direct observation of inmates, and operational control over door locks

Facility space restrains requires storage of equipment and material in hallways.

Proposed LEC will provide adequate and secured storage space to accommodate the needs of the increased staff and prisoner population

Current Detention Center office is cramped and not secured. Suspected DUI suspects must be brought through the office area to use datamaster behind green door on left.

Proposed LEC would provide for secured office space of adequate size and would not allow arrested subjects in the office area.

Current Forensic Lab constructed from modified restroom facility

Proposed Forensic Lab will provide addition space and designed for a lab

Current space provided for 3 investigators, 1 victim’s advocate, and animal control

Proposed LEC would provide adequate office space to allow confidentially when talking with crime victims and discussing cases

Current Drug Lab created from another converted restroom

Proposed LEC will provide adequate laboratory facilities for both drug and forensic needs