Where are Your Tax Dollars When Flooding Hits?

9:29 PM, Jul 22, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Many of you have reached out to us regarding flooding concerns, and we're answering your questions.

The heavy storms have put many roads in the Midlands under water, and many people have asked us how your tax dollars are being used to address the problem.

A 2006 report issued by the Richland County Transportation Study Commission names a number of suggested upgrades to many of the County's 237 miles of unpaved roads.

It included $7 million to pave dirt roads through a county-wide dirt road paving program, the report shows. There was also $9,250,00 0 in suggested upgrades to a county-wide local road and resurfacing program.

But many of those changes were never implemented. County officials point to the failure of a 2010 measure to pass County ballots that would have added revenue from an increased sales-tax to the County's books.

"In cases where there's been flooding, we've made a special effort to, first of all, try and remove the water," said Richland County Administrator Tony McDonald. "But of course that's only a temporary solution."

Another solution offered is to use revenue from the penny sales tax -- an estimated $1 billion -- to make many of the needed upgrades.

County officials tell us that the best thing to do at the first sign of flooding continues to be calling the County's Ombudsman's office. They say that is the only way County crews with Public Works can be made aware of any issues that need to be addressed.

The Ombudsman's office can be reached at (803) 929 - 6000. 

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