Be prepared to pay a higher sales tax on Monday.
That’s when Horry County businesses will begin collecting the 1 percent tax for RIDE III, the county’s nearly $600 million road-building program. The tax, which voters approved in November, can be collected for up to eight years.
The sales tax applies to all retail sales, accommodations and prepared food. Groceries, however, are exempt.
RIDE III will pay for improvements to U.S. 501, widening U.S. 701 North near Conway, extending S.C. 31 to the state line and widening Carolina Forest Boulevard, among other projects.
Horry officials have already begun some of the preliminary work for RIDE III because earlier this year county council members pulled money from the last road construction program (RIDE II) to start the designing and permitting phases of the latest one.
County officials will transfer money from RIDE III back to the RIDE II account once the payments from the S.C. Department of Revenue begin arriving this fall.
County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said the county is already finalizing agreements for civil engineering services for widening of Carolina Forest Boulevard and for paving some county dirt roads. RIDE III will eventually pave 100 miles of dirt roads.
The S.C. Department of Transportation, which is managing the projects for state roads, is advertising for design services for the widening of U.S. 701 north, the widening of S.C. 9 East and a utility coordination contract.
A complete list of the RIDE III projects can be found here.
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