Murrells Inlet, Garden City residents vote Tuesday on tax increase

Voters in Murrells Inlet Garden City fire district to decide on referendum

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - Polls will open Tuesday morning, where residents will vote on whether to raise taxes to increase funding for the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District.

They will vote on a five millage tax increase to the current 14 millage.

Murrells Inlet resident Sissy Taylor said she supports the increase because the fire district is in need.

“I have never missed a vote but definitely I am going to be voting for, for them to get more money, they deserve it,” Taylor said.

Another Murrells Inlet resident, Bill Hills, said he has thought about how he’ll vote and has gone back and forth with his decision.

“If we don’t need this increase today we will need it in the future and I would rather have it when we need it then watch us fall behind because we didn’t have it,” Hills said.

WMBF News spoke with a man who is a retired fireman and thinks he’ll vote against the increase. He didn’t want to identify himself but said the department needs more transparency.

Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire Board Chairman George Oldroyd said the district will use the money to purchase a fourth ambulance and additional personnel to operate it.

“We are way way behind. We are more than that percentage behind than everyone else," said Oldroyd. "We cannot operate the way we have been operating with these limited funds.”

Earlier this year, South Carolina state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch sent out a letter to Oldroyd, urging the board of directors to take no action until the 2018 audit was completed.

Goldfinch sent WMBF News a statement on the vote:

Simply this: the legislative delegation that appoints this MIGCFD board has asked a number of financial questions in hopes of determining the needs of the district. To date, those questions have not been answered, and therefore, we are not taking a position on the referendum.

Oldroyd said the board will review the audit at their next meeting on Monday, July 22.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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