The Unity Referendum
Perhaps the best thing that can be said of the recent failed referendum is that it was a necessary first step to get where we need to be.
Misunderstanding of those that opposed the referendum is widespread. The fact is that individuals on both sides of the vote share the desire to provide adequate funding for CSA and needed infrastructure improvements. But the details of how to achieve that are important in order reach the required 75% threshold.
We’ve always believed a referendum is the right way to fund our community. And we’ve all learned from the recent vote and the feedback regarding specific parts. So here are the core components of a financial “Unity Referendum” that should satisfy a broad consensus and bring us together:
- Accept the financial contributions in the previous referendum of 0.75% for the Resort and the new formula for other commercial entities
- A $150 permanent increase in the annual assessment for all RPOs
- A $150 special assessment on RPOs for three years to fully fund infrastructure needs
- Requiring all rental properties not owned by the Resort be subject to the weekly gate pass fee established by CSA
A referendum based on the above would pass easily. If you voted for the previous referendum you should like this one better. And if you voted against – while these terms leave much to be desired and unresolved issues – it is vastly better by providing a degree of fairness and protections missing in the previous referendum language. And it would accomplish exactly what CSA successfully sold to the community.
RPOs should be warned that other funding methods are being fast tracked in an attempt to bypass our protective covenants. One is a Special Tax District that creates a permanent new broad taxing authority which can be approved by just 50% of registered South Carolina voters only. This would certainly alienate and cause resentment among the nearly 70% of RPOs that are non-residents. This is not a solution that will heal wounds.
Sea Pines property owners should simply ask CSA to do the right thing. Present us a referendum that will pass. Let’s all come together in making that request.