Property tax increase gets second approval by Horry Co. council -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Property tax increase gets second approval by Horry Co. council

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Council members are down to the wire, still crunching numbers to come up with more money to offset the 2016 budget, and balancing the budget could mean more money out of your pocket.

The county has more expenses than it does money, so county council members are looking at three areas that would generate more revenue for the budget. All three proposals passed their second reading of the required three on Tuesday night.

The first passed measure was a millage increase for the general fund of 7.2 mills.

”That equivocates to about $28 per $100,000 value of a legal residence,” Horry County Spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said.

Now a lot of the money generated from this revenue would help fund public safety, including a 3 percent raise for employees and 5 percent raise for First Class officers. It would also pay for body cameras, address the EMS call volume, and add more detectives to the Horry County Police Department's violent crimes and gang units.

It may cost you a little more to drive on the roads every day, but to help improve the road conditions, the county council also passed an increase in our road maintenance fee.

“That's the fee that you pay on your vehicle taxes on an annual basis,” Bourcier said. “That increased from $30 to about $50, and that will assist us with keeping up with resurfacing, being able to resurface more roads within the county, as well as paving more additional roads.”

The third measure passed could increase the building permit fees. Council wants to increase those fees by 10 cents per square foot for residential and commercial.

But perhaps many of the folks attending Tuesday's meeting were Horry County employees concerned about losing their paid leave. Many were vocal during public comment, feeling they and first responders are being mistreated. Right now council members are considering going back to a policy used in 2002 that would split the hours between sick time and vacation time. Some who spoke before council say the current system like this is what keeps the county short-staffed.“There is a high percentage of officers that leave Horry County - shortly after they hired they leave for a better-paying law enforcement job nearby, and that just shows that the rate they are being compensated is too low,” said Carolina Forest resident Robert Urbancik. “It endangers us because when they leave it takes a while for them to re-train someone else, and they are short staffed to begin with.”

County council members did not vote on that policy - in fact, they say they want a little more time to ensure they have a system that is fair. The resolutions for the policies will be discussed with the Public Safety Committee on Monday, June 8 at 9:30 a.m.

Horry County is also closer to welcoming a Canadian-Based manufacturing company.

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