On any given day, there are approximately 130-thousand travelers on our roads. This number is comprised of 100-thousand travelers from varying municipalities in the County and the remaining 30-thousand are Town residents.
Considering this, one of Council's top priorities is finding solutions to improve traffic congestion in the Town of Lexington. Over the past few years, Council has taken a multi-faceted approach to mitigate issues faced on a daily basis. The Town currently has extensive plans to solve traffic congestion and improve traffic flow, but one of the biggest hurdles faced is funding.
As such, in order to provide a source of funding for traffic solutions, Town Council, in 2015, implemented the Hospitality Tax to share the burden of improving our roads with those travelers who are from outside of Town limits.
The Hospitality Tax, otherwise known as the H-tax, is a 2% tax on prepared food and beverages and is very commonly used in municipalities across the Midlands and the state of South Carolina.
As it relates to the Town, money collected from H-tax is used to fund traffic improvements and was also used to provide Town residents with a substantial 21% break on their property taxes. This most recent property tax reduction happened in 2020 and it was the third time property taxes have been reduced in 30 years.
Since passing the H-Tax, Council has been able to authorize the completion of the following traffic projects: One Way Pair, Interstate 20 Exit Ramp Improvements, the widening of Ginny Lane, and the Harmon Street Extension/widening of North Lake Drive in front of Lexington Elementary School. For details on each of these projects, you can visit LexSC.com.
As we kick off the 2024 Council year, Town Council is hard at work to continue addressing the issue of traffic congestion in our Town. We are open to suggestions you have and invite you to attend our monthly Council and Work Session meetings to get a better understanding of how we are working for you.