BEAUFORT, S.C. (May 12, 2026) – Beaufort City Council passed a resolution at its meeting on May 11 specifying that revenue from the1% local option sales tax (LOST) that is apportioned to the City will be used toward tax credits for property owners and for capital improvements.
Leaders from all the municipalities in Beaufort County – Beaufort, Bluffton, Port Royal, Hilton Head Island, Hardeeville and Yemassee -- signed a letter to Beaufort County Council asking that LOST be placed on the November ballot. On May 10, Beaufort County Council approved putting LOST up for a vote in November.
If passed by voters, LOST would add a penny to the current sales tax paid by Beaufort County residents and visitors, which is 7%. Of the revenue collected, 71% would go back to property owners as a property tax credit. The remaining 29% would be apportioned among the county and municipalities.
LOST would allow for a credit against a taxpayer’s ad valorem (real property, personal and motor vehicle) tax liability. A significant amount of the revenue raised through LOST would come from visitors and tourists, according to various analyses.
City leaders believe that LOST would provide a much needed revenue source to address capital projects without taking on additional debt. Many of these are funded through grants but require matching funds from the City, which are limited. In addition, the City provides many services to visitors who are not taxpayers. The local sales option tax would address this imbalance.
If passed by voters in November, the tax would begin to be collected in July 2022.