LAKE WYLIE, SC – It wasn’t a landslide, but Lake Wylie residents voted decisively to start a new recreation tax aimed at bringing a sports park to the area.
With all 11 precincts reporting Tuesday night, votes for the new tax led by almost 1,846 ballots. The approval rate reached 58 percent. All results are unofficial until certified by the county.
The special recreation tax district is a critical step in funding a new sports park in Lake Wylie. Tuesday’s vote should create enough revenue to fund an up to $7 million capital investment for a sports complex on county owned land along Crowders Creek. It would provide operations money for the park, too. By initiating the recreation tax, park planners guaranteed another $2.45 million in county hospitality tax money toward the project.
Voters were mixed at the polls with some saying they voted no because of a tax increase, while others said the area needs it.
“It could be a great place for gathering and joining the community together,” said Holly Armstrong, 35, of Lake Wylie who home-schools her three children ages 7, 9 and 11 said at Bethel precinct. “There are not enough parks for all the children here.”
Julia Cienfuegos, 36, of Clover agreed a park is needed in the Lake Wylie area. She has children in Lake Wylie Athletic Association sports.
“This would mean families don’t have to drive so far for games,” she said. “And it would be nice to see that space used for a park instead of more houses and development.”
Plans for the 50 acres, plus 18 nearby, at 5668 Charlotte Highway include three baseball/softball fields and three multipurpose fields mainly for soccer, lacrosse and football, tennis and basketball courts, an 18-hole disc golf course, playground, picnic shelter, walking trails, a dog park and more.
The land, 68 acres, was donated to York County in 2007, spurring plans for a park. Five past and present York County Council members representing Dist. 2 have supported the efforts of residents who have worked voluntarily to bring the park to fruition.
The tax district will be charged only in the Lake Wylie area where voters approved it. The county hospitality tax money, separate from the new recreation tax but allocated with the condition of residents taxing themselves, comes from a 2 percent charge on food and drink in unincorporated areas.
The recreation tax cost to taxpayers would be $20 per $100,000 in value for homeowners, and $30 per $100,000 for businesses and rentals, planners say.
Concessions, park signage, pavers and other fundraisers are to be escrowed for future field refurbishment and other needs, according to Lake Wylie Sportsplex committee members.
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