Danger, tax hike or a broken promise in Berkeley's future

Berkeley County is searching for a way to come up with money for long-term capital improvement projects. The county needs to widen a stretch of U.S. Highway 17A, deal with jail overcrowding, and provide matching funds for an Interstate 26 interchange to benefit an industrial park near Jedburg.

To fund the projects, the county has a number of options:
- Borrow it. But this would lead to lawyer and interest fees. Additionally, County Supervisor Dan Davis has said the county only has about $15 million left it can borrow.
- Use money from a previously passed 1 percent sales tax hike. But the hike was passed with a strict pledge to use the money only to reduce property taxes.
- Raise the property tax. Unappealing for obvious reasons.
- Forgo the projects. The county would lose its I-26 matching funds and become vulnerable to lawsuits over dangerous jail and U.S. 17A conditions.

The issue will be discussed today at 6 p.m. in the Berkeley County Council administration building, 1003 U.S. Highway 52, Moncks Corner.

Filed in