What is the Richland County Penny Tax?

February 22, 2024

Richland County’s penny tax has been instrumental in The COMET's success, allowing The COMET to expand many of its services and its overall impact across the Midlands. 

So, what exactly is the Richland County Penny Tax?

In 2012, Richland County residents voted to approve a referendum for the Transportation Penny Tax Program (or Richland County Penny Tax), which uses a 1 percent sales tax to support much-needed projects throughout the county. Since the approval, the Richland County Penny Tax has been used to complete more than 500 projects to benefit the residents of Richland County. The Penny Tax is used to fund three different areas: 

  1. The COMET.
  2. Roadway improvements.
  3. Bikeways, pedestrian improvements and greenways.

The Penny Tax has allotted The COMET one-third of the penny tax revenue to make numerous, much-needed improvements to transportation in the Midlands. Thanks to the voters of Richland County, over the last 12 years, The COMET has been able to: 

  • Increase the number of available routes from 18 to 47.
  • Increase the number of vehicles in its fleet from 68 to 97.
  • Increase ridership to more than 2.8 million a year.
  • Increase miles traveled by 41%.
  • Increase the number of bus shelters from 0 to 160 to protect riders from the elements.
  • Increase the number of bus benches from 15 to 129.

With just one-third of the penny, The COMET has positively impacted Richland County!

Learn more about The Richland County Penny Tax here, richlandpenny.com