Meeting scheduled to reconsider half-cent tax

Charleston County Council will meet Wednesday to reconsider a proposed sales tax referendum.

After voting down and seemingly killing the proposed sales tax referendum last week, Charleston County Council announced it will meet Wednesday to reconsider.

The group will hold a special meeting to take up second reading of the referendum at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at the Lonnie Hamilton III Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, in North Charleston.

After initially approving the same plan two days earlier, council on Thursday voted 5-4 against the referendum that would add a half-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects and green space. The decision came after council members argued for more than an hour over whether voters should be asked about funding the completion of Interstate 526 with the money.

The group is able to reconsider the second vote because councilman Vic Rawl motioned to reconsider his “no” vote at the end of Thursday’s meeting. Under county rules, if a matter is to be voted on again, whoever is on the prevailing side of the vote has to bring it up.

Councilwoman Colleen Condon, who voted to approve the plan without the I-526 question, won’t be at the meeting Wednesday because she’s in Philadelphia serving on the Democratic National Convention Rules Committee.

With her absence, Summey said they won’t discuss any new changes to the plan initially approved at the first referendum meeting.

“We’re not talking about 526 tomorrow night,” he said.

Condon said that if she hears differently from other council members, she will “be on a plane home tomorrow morning” to attend the meeting.

If the plan is approved this time, the group will likely meet again the week of Aug. 9 to take a final vote, Summey added. Council has until Aug. 15 to get the referendum wording to the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration before it could be put on the ballot on Nov. 8.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 843-937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail