COIN: Coalition of Island Neighbors was founded by LLL members Patsy Brison and Risa Sreden Prince to address and advocate for issues of local concern. The following is the latest COIN statement on the Local Option Sales Tax referendum which will be on theNovember 2021 ballot.
After more time to review the proposed action by the Town Council on the LOST, COIN continues to express great concern. While the LOST will provide some property tax relief for property owners and provide additional sources of funds for Town services and projects, it has no sunset provision and the State law sets a very high bar to trigger another County referendum to end the tax. There is no clear return on investment for Hilton Head Island generated funds and there are no criteria for how the discretionary allocated funds will be spent by the Town Council. The property tax relief will benefit investors and second home owners but is a regressive tax for non-property owners. Unless the property tax relief is passed along to tenants, the additional sales tax will further burden renters, especially workers, who are less likely to be able to withstand this added cost. Finally, the County may seek another sales tax referendum next year for additional unidentified road work, which could double this burden.
For these reasons, COIN recommends Town Council acknowledges County Council was within its rights to add this to the ballot, and encourages residents to make their opinions known by voting. Additionally, Town Council should decline to fund an educational contract about the referendum, given that this campaign has already been contracted, developed, and initiated without Town input.
If you have any questions or want more information about COIN, you can email email@example.com