Businesses worried about county tax increases - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Businesses worried about county tax increases

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - With a packed crowd on hand, Horry County council took its lumps last night after passing this year's budget. Wednesday, that same vitriol could be found all over.

"I think what the county council has missed is that right now we are paying so many taxes,” said Amy Lawrence with the Lovely Law Firm in Myrtle Beach.

Lawrence wasn't at the meeting Tuesday night, but the tax increases in the new county budget worries her as much as those who were in attendance.

"It'll be thousands of dollars in a swing, and people don't realize that,” She said.

Horry County's new budget includes a tax increase of 7.2 mills, which comes to more than $13 million.

In that increase, a homeowner would pay about $28 per $100,000 of property. Businesses on the other hand, would be on the hook for about $75 for that same amount of property.

That money will go towards employee raises, new police officers, and much more.

“Any time there is an adjustment in millage, it does impact the greatest on the businesses, for that, as well as the second property owners that have rental property owners in the county as well,” explained Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier.

While Lawrence and the many others who are now speaking up understand where that money is going, they still aren't happy they are footing the bill. Especially since it could hurt plans in their near future.

“I'd really like to hire another employee, but now I've got to think down the road, I can't really do that because these taxes have gone up and it's just not feasible economically,” Lawrence said.

One of the biggest critiques brought up in public comment last night was why county council didn't cut costs elsewhere before charging everyone else.

The county says it already cut $8 million before getting to this point.

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