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      Marion County voters to decide on possible tax increase

      Next Tuesday, Voters in Marion County ( will decide whether they want a 1% local option sales tax increase to raise $10 million.

      County officials say the money will fund 15 projects.

      Some of the projects include renovation of the Marion County Courthouse and Archives Building, a new Britton's Neck Fire Station, renovation and expansion of an existing structure to accommodate a Nichols Town Complex, a new three-bay Mullins Fire Station and an expansion of the Marion Grice Recreation Boys and Girls Club.

      The referendum would allow county officials to borrow against the expected revenue so it could get the money up front for the projects.

      If approved by voters, the tax will be in place for seven years and would go into effect in May of 2013.

      It would not be applied to groceries, medicine or gas.

      Officials say it is generally estimated that roughly 30% of the revenue will come from out-of-county shoppers.

      Some residents say they'll support the referendum because it's helping the county.

      "A penny can be progress as long as we put all of our pennies together to do something positive. Anything that's going to enhance our communities, our neighborhoods, our counties, if it's a penny sales tax it's something that everybody can participate in and that can help the community to grow, I'm all for it," said Ronnie Green.

      Katie McDowell said, "(it would) be good because then we can get some stuff done around the community that needs to be done and revitalized and all that. Make everything better."

      Others don't think the county can stand a sales tax increase.

      "I don't believe I'd want to increase it. No, not the way things are now. I just don't believe we need to raise it now," said C.M. Beasley.

      Marion County Progress is providing free newsletters to residents.

      It explains all the information about the proposed sales tax increase.

      You can pick up a newsletter at the Marion County Administration building or at other businesses in the county.

      A similar tax is already being collected in Florence, Dillon and Horry Counties.