For more than 70 percent of people in Columbus County a sales tax increase was the only issue on the ballot. And voters supported it. More than 54 percent of them in fact, compared with more than 45 percent against the hike. Interim County Manager Leo Hunt says he believes an increase in sales tax is the fairest and most practical way for the county to raise much needed revenue. Local business owner Terry Mann agrees. He voted for the referendum and says he does not think the tax increase will affect the average person. Mann said, "For my business I don't think there'd be any affect. It's such a small percentage. I mean it's just a quarter of a percent on a dollar, so it's not that big a deal." Hunt says the county's fund balance needs to increase by 13 percent. If the sales tax had not passed, the county most likely would have had to increase property taxes to make up the difference.
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