News Release

Town of Hilton Head Island Logo

Update on Referendums for Beaufort County November 2 Elections

October 28, 2021

Tuesday, November 2 is Election Day.

While there are no Town Council or political office elections for Hilton Head Island, there are two county-wide referendums for which residents may cast ballots. The referendum questions Beaufort County voters are being asked to decide are:

County Government Structure

Beaufort County Council voted in June 2021 to place the issue of changing the County's form of government on the November 2, 2021, ballot.

If approved by voters, this referendum would give the County Council power to appoint the County's Treasurer and Auditor.  Under the current form, the Treasurer and Auditor are elected by voters and serve four-year terms. For more information about this referendum question, visit

Local Option Sales Tax Program

Under the local option sales tax program, seventy-one percent (71%) of revenues collected go directly to property tax reduction for residents (real property, vehicles, boats, etc.). Twenty-nine percent (29%) of revenues are allocated directly to local governments for inclusion in locally directed investments (programs, infrastructure, etc.).

The State of South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office estimates Beaufort County will receive $49 million in annual collections. Of that, about $32.8 million would be allocated back to property taxpayers in the form of tax credits, and $13.4 million would be available for local municipalities to determine how to use. The state will receive $2.4 million.

If voters approve the referendum, the one percent sales tax will begin on May 1, 2022. Property tax credits will be effective for the real property tax bills scheduled to go out in October 2022. Use the tax calculator at to get an estimate of the tax credit you may receive.

For more information or frequently asked questions about the Local Option Sales Tax Referendum, visit

Voting Information  

In-person absentee voting at the Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island absentee precincts has begun. Voters may vote in-person Monday - Friday from 9 am - 4 pm. The last day to vote in-person absentee is Monday, November 1, 2021, 9 am - 5 pm.

The Hilton Head Island absentee precinct is located at 539 William Hilton Parkway. The In Bluffton, the absentee precinct is located at 61B Ulmer Road.

For more information on Beaufort County elections and voting precincts, visit

Carolyn Grant, Communications Director