Darlington voters approve penny sales tax for schools

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Voters in Darlington County decided Tuesday to approve a bond referendum extending a penny sales tax to pay for new schools.

Results show that 62 percent voted yes while only 38 percent voted against the referendum.

The Darlington County Board of Education voted this summer to put the penny sales tax referendum on the November ballot. The original bond referendum of $48 million was used to build three brand new schools and renovate others.

The original bond was set to expire in 2030 but the school district was able to pay down the debt ahead of schedule, meaning it is now set to expire in 2018.

School officials say that the school district still has a need for new facilities, and so they put a new $60 million bond referendum on the ballot.

While many officials say that old schools can cause unsafe conditions for students, others say the area has other more pressing needs like replacing the Darlington County Courthouse.

Below is an official statement from Connell Delaine, Chairman of the Darlington County Board of Education

We are deeply gratified the citizens of our county put so much value in the education of our children and so much trust in their Board of Education.  Thank you. We look forward to working with our communities as we not only build new schools for our children, but new pathways to the twenty-first century for our families and our county. We would also like to thank those in our community who worked tirelessly for the passage of this referendum. We are aware of the responsibility our community has given us, and we are committed to remaining fiscally responsible to our taxpayers while working together to ensure the students of Darlington County receive a high quality education.