City-County Response to 2022 Capital Penny Sales Tax Initiative

Thank you to everyone in Sumter County who took the time to vote in the 2022 election. We would like to thank our community, who put in countless hours over the past year to submit project ideas, and those who worked on the proposed projects to bring them to the referendum for vote. As with everything we strive to do, these projects seek to help build community infrastructure and public facilities and increase public safety and quality of life for the entire Sumter community.

“As I reflect upon last night's results, I’m obviously disappointed in the reduced ability to address quality of life projects like the inclusive parks, but most importantly our concern of funding public safety items like the mandated upgrades to our emergency radio systems and our public safety equipment,” stated David Merchant, Mayor of City of Sumter.

Moving forward, city and county leaders will continue to consider new projects. These projects will be given much time, consideration, and planning. Since the passage of the initial penny tax in 2008, we have experienced an incredible increase in per capita income and growth at Shaw Air Force Base, as well as expanded industrial parks and businesses.

While the 2022 Penny for Progress initiative didn’t pass last night; we have completed the 2008 projects and, as promised, the City and County will continue to work to complete the projects from the 2014 Penny effort. The two initiatives combined have invested over $150 million back into our community by paving over 56 roads, adding recreation amenities like a new gymnasium, parks, and playgrounds, upgrading public facilities with a new judicial center, and preserving our historic courthouse. We’ve spurred job creation and millions more through state, federal, and private investment as a result. We are proud of the work that the Sumter Capital Penny has completed for our community. 

“Thirty to 40% of the tax is paid by people who don’t even live in Sumter because of tourism and others who commute through Sumter,” stated Jim McCain, Chairman of Sumter County Council. “For the past 14 years, the penny has allowed us to complete projects to benefit all Sumter without the burden of major property tax increases.”

In today's world, people receive information by many different means. In the future, we will continue to look at ways to reach the public to answer your questions and continue to be transparent in our communication about all details regarding the Capital Penny Sales Tax Law. 

We will continue working to improve our community and look for strategies that will allow us to move forward that will not necessitate an increase in our property taxes.

As always, please reach out to us if you have questions. Thank you.