Surfside Beach town council rejects property tax increase

Photo Source: MGN Online
Photo Source: MGN Online

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After a sanitation fee increase, the Surfside Beach town council met Tuesday night to discuss among other things, a property tax increase.

The property tax increase did not pass, however. It was rejected by a 4-3 vote by council members. The millage would have increased by 12 percent, which would be $20 more per every $100,000 of home value for homeowners.

The clock is ticking for the town to make a decision, they have to approve the final budget before the end of the month.

A special meeting will be held on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be open to the public at first, for the council members to hear public opinion. After the public session is finished, the council will go into a closed session to discuss employee cutbacks.

The increase would have brought in nearly $300,000 extra dollars to the budget each year, something Surfside Beach Mayor Doug Samples says the town desperately needs. They are operating at a deficit, and need the extra money to keep going.

"I don't understand how come they're getting all this money in, and they still ain't got enough money to operate," said Surfside Beach Homeowner J.R. Lawrimore. "They need more money, but they're not willing to pay it."

Some people believe they should not have to pay more in taxes, but Mayor Samples says the town has looked at all options and no better solutions have surfaced.

"Nobody's in favor of raising taxes," said Mayor Samples. "But the people I expect may not support it this year, what I ask them is what's their solution. What do we cut, what do we reduce, in order to balance the budget."

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