NEWS 3 Follows-up: Group pushes against penny tax, tourists react

One group remains vocal in attempt to convince voters to cast a 'no' ballot.

The Voters Against Sales Tax (VAST) continue efforts to persuade Beaufort County citizens to cast ballots against any new penny sales tax. Groups disbursed information on the possible Beaufort County capital projects penny tax, and the Beaufort County School District education penny sales tax to tourists over the weekend and week of the RBC Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head.

“Tourists and local residents, everyone should get a little bit of their voice into the whole fight,” VAST leader Anne Ubelis said.

Ubelis has been a leader of opposition to the proposed tax hikes. She says there was support for that opposition from spectators and visitors that her group spoke with over the past week. However, tourists NEWS 3 spoke with in Hilton Head on Monday, spoke differently.

Though none would be speak in an on-camera interview, five different families voiced indifference to the possible hike. Some believe the increase would not strain the budgets of families who visit so infrequently. Others say it’s the least of worries for the vacationers who have the funds to come, and are prepared to spend. Still, others say even the tax hike may still be less than some families pay at home, if they’re from places up north.

Ubelis says her job in persuading others isn’t done yet.

“We’re not just saying we oppose a sales tax. We’re looking at solutions, and one of them would be an independent audit of the operational costs of the school board. So, let’s get an audit out there, let’s see where the wasteful spending is and shift those funds,” she says.

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