County looks at 3 potential funding sources for 2016 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

County looks at 3 potential funding sources for 2016

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County leaders are scheduled to discuss the 2015-2016 budget at a council workshop Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. After the workshop, the budget will be presented to county council for a second reading and public input at 6:00 p.m.

The county is in need of more revenue, because the growth is not covering the added costs. Click here for background on the tight budget.

At Tuesday's workshop, council plans to discuss three potential revenue generators for the budget. Here are the three main revenue increase options that are up for discussion:

1. A potential millage increase for the general fund of 7.2 mills

2. An increase to the annual road maintenance fee (from $30 to $50)

3. An increase of ten cents per square foot to building permit fees

The biggest chunk of the budget is the general fund. Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier says that 73 percent of the general fund is dedicated to people. “And in the 73 percent, over 60 percent of that is public safety. So you can see most of it is people-oriented when it comes to the general fund,” says Bourcier.

Depending on what is discussed at the workshop, the budget could look different presented to county council.

Two resolutions face county council members at Tuesday's meeting that have to do with employees' paid time off and holiday pay.

The main resolution gaining attention has to do with how paid time off days will be accrued in the future. The county used to have a Paid Time Off system where employees would bank a certain amount of hours per month depending on how long they've been with the county. They could use the hours for sick time, vacation, bereavement, whatever.

But this resolution would split that time back to how the system used to work in 2002, which would split the hours between a sick time bank and a vacation time bank. According to Bourcier, the maximum number of hours employees can bank won't change. But how many days off they build up on a monthly basis will change.

This resolution is part of what fire and police personnel voiced concern over back in March. They were worried about losing paid time off. According to the power point provided by the county spokesperson (click to view in PDF format), fire employees would be the only ones losing any time off. It would amount to a total of 9.5 days maximum.

Paying for people is the biggest expense, by far, in the county's budget. So their discussions won't end with this time off resolution.

“We are working with a consultant now to look at health benefits. But that would not be for this coming year but it would be for next year. So that's something that our human resources department is working on,” says Bourcier.

There is another resolution up for discussion Tuesday that deals with holiday pay and donated paid leave. If the resolutions pass, they will go into effect July 1.

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