Dollar margaritas, free massages and menu upgrades were among the treats and “deductions” offered by America’s restaurants, retailers and service providers to blow off steam from the tax deadline. Among the deals that extended past April 17 are document shredding from Staples (good through April 21) and Office Depot/Office Max (good through April 23).
A cargo-transfer hub in Dillon, where a CSX Corp. rail line will connect the Port of Charleston with the Pee Dee area, opened on April 16. The $50.5 million “inland port” will let trucks pick up containers six days a week for quick access to I-95 from a region that’s historically had some of the state’s highest rates of poverty and unemployment but has seen the addition of 1,000 jobs in the past year tied to distribution center ground-breakings.
After two years without a finance director and falling behind on its audits, the Chester City Council has clarity on how little cash it possesses. Facing a dwindling tax base with an aging population and shrinking downtown, like so many small cities, it has been hard to conduct the business of paying its employees, let alone hiring for critical positions. The balance of Chester’s general fund at the end of February was $37,063. “We scratch to make every payroll,” Chester Finance Director Jerry Baker, who has been on the job less than a year, recently told the city finance committee. The committee authorized Baker to ask Chester County, which collects taxes on behalf of the city, to pass along that money every two weeks rather than monthly to improve the city’s cash flow.
The Southern Connector, officially known as the Interstate 185 Toll that links Greenville’s south side of I-85 with I-385 near Simpsonville, is finally seeing the kind of traffic its builders intended, as transactions in 2017 exceeded 6 million (for $11.2 million in revenue) for the first time. Compare that to 2009, when the road’s revenue of $5.3 million was nowhere near its projection of $16 million. But proponents recently told the Greenville News that the Connector’s true potential is as a conduit for industrial development and job creation rather than merely a commuting convenience. The 16-mile toll road that opened in 2001 is projected to be toll-free by 2050.