Election Day: NOVEMBER 8, 2022
Early Voting: OCTOBER 24-NOVEMBER 5, 2022 (Closed Sunday)
View Your Sample Ballot
Click here to view your sample ballot.
www.scvotes.gov is the South Carolina Election Commission website. After filling out your info, your sample ballot will be able to be viewed, printed, or saved. You may print it and take it into the voting booth with you.
Please download your sample ballot and read all four questions carefully.
South Carolina Democratic Party Position on the Two Constitution Amendments on the Ballot.
Must Section 36(A), Article III of the Constitution of this State, relating to the General Reserve Fund, be amended to provide that the General Reserve Fund of five percent of general fund revenue of the latest completed fiscal year must be increased each year by one-half of one percent of the general fund revenue of the latest completed fiscal year until it equals seven percent of such revenues? Explanation: A ‘Yes’ vote will increase the amount of money state government must keep in the General Reserve Fund (its "rainy day" fund) from 5% of the previous year's revenue to 7% of the previous year's revenue.
Democratic Position & Explanation:
We urge you to vote Yes.
The General Reserve Fund was originally championed and created by longtime Democratic State Treasurer Grady L. Patterson, Jr. The purpose of this fund is to pay for the government functions in a current fiscal year in which a shortfall occurs at the end of the fiscal year. Essentially, it protects against year-end shortfalls when all other options have been exhausted.
This “Rainy Day Fund” is akin to placing money in an emergency account designed to cover budget shortfalls in the current fiscal year as the result of a downturn in the economy or natural disaster.
Must Section 36(B), Article III of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to provide that the Capital Reserve Fund of two percent of the general fund revenue of the latest completed fiscal year be increased to three percent of the general fund revenue of the latest completed fiscal year and to provide that the first use of the Capital Reserve Fund must be to offset midyear budget reductions? Explanation A ‘Yes’ vote will increase the amount of money state government must appropriate to the Capital Reserve Fund (the “reserve and capital improvements” fund) from 2% of the previous year’s revenue to 3% of the previous year’s revenue and require that the Capital Reserve Fund’s first priority is to offset midyear budget cuts at state agencies.
Democratic Position & Explanation :
We urge you to vote yes.
The Capital Reserve Fund was originally championed and created by longtime Democratic State Treasurer Grady L. Patterson, Jr. This is a mid-year option that would be the first line of defense before cutting programs for which money has been appropriated and money is being spent. This fund is used when the Board of Economic Advisors cuts or adjusts revenue projections during a fiscal year for which a budget has already been passed and revenues are not keeping pace.
Island Packet: https://www.islandpacket.com/news/politics-government/article267126096.html
WLTX piece: https://www.wltx.com/article/news/politics/changes-sc-rainy-day-funds-ballot/101-6f0ac805-cb70-464d-b11d-46d9bd174030
Local Ballot Questions
Local Question 1A & 1B:
The BCDP Executive Committee has not taken an official position on the local referendum questions, however, we provide resources for you to research the questions further.
"LOCAL QUESTION NUMBER IA
AUTHORIZATION TO IMPOSE A ONE PERCENT (1%) SPECIAL SALES AND USE TAX TO FINANCE THE PROTECTION OF OPEN LAND AND GREEN SPACES.
Shall a special one percent (1%) sales and use tax be imposed in Beaufort County for not more than two (2) years to raise up to $100,000,000 for preservation procurements for the purpose of procuring open lands and green space by and through the acquisition of interests in real property, located within or outside the boundaries of Beaufort County, such interests to include: (a) the acquisition of fee simple titles; (b) conservation easements; (c) development rights; (d) rights of first refusal; (e) options; (f) leases with options to purchase; or (g) any other interests in real property?’ "
"LOCAL QUESTION NUMBER IB
AUTHORIZATION TO IMPOSE A ONE PERCENT (1%) SPECIAL SALES AND USE TAX TO FINANCE THE PROTECTION OF OPEN LAND AND GREEN SPACES
I approve the issuance of not exceeding $100,000,000 in principal amount of general obligation bonds of Beaufort County maturing over a period of not to exceed two (2) years to fund the procurement of open lands and green space identified in Beaufort County Local Referendum Question IA.
If the Sales and Use Tax revenues are inadequate for the payment of the bonds, the County intends to pledge its full faith, credit and taxing power for the payment thereof. "
The two local questions are very closely tied together. Of note, the Coastal Conservation League, Hilton Head Audubon Society, Audubon SC, Nature Conservancy, and other environmental groups are in strong favor of the measure.
Questions that may be worth considering include: Should a 1% sales tax (regressive tax*) be imposed on the residents and visitors of Beaufort County? Should the county should use the green space tax monies to pay down past debts and buy down pre-approved density? Are there other means by which to conserve lands and waterways- which most would agree is much needed?
The BCDP asks that our members read up on the details and vote how they feel best.
From a beaufortcountysc.gov report. (Please read report in full):
"approve a Greenspace Sales Tax referendum at a rate of 1 percent for two years, collecting up to $100 million to purchase land, conservation easements, and buy down density to slow and prevent development. The money may also be used to pay off debt from past land purchases."
Another beaufortcountysc.gov report: https://www.beaufortcountysc.gov/news/2022/10/county-green-space-program-passes-final-vote--council-outlines-spending-plan-if-november-referendum-is-successful.html :
"If passed by voters, Beaufort County Green Space Program provides guidelines how lands may be protected and enhanced as economic and environmental resources of significant importance. It will encourage landowners to make a voluntary long-term commitment to conservation by offering landowners financial incentives and security of land use.
The program will preserve open space; protect critical and natural resources; and/or provide land for recreation, and allows for the purchase of development rights and fee simple interest in lands threatened by development, which, if it occurs, will have detrimental effects on land use patterns, traffic, public safety, stormwater runoff, water quality or other conservation objectives."
*definition of regressive tax (Source: irs.gov)
A tax that takes a larger percentage of income from low-income groups than from high-income groups. A regressive tax may at first appear to be a fair way of taxing citizens because everyone, regardless of income level, pays the same dollar amount. By taking a closer look, it is easy to see that such a tax causes lower-income people to pay a larger share of their income than wealthier people pay.