Horry County Council approves $738 million budget with tax increases

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 10:35 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Residents in Horry County will be seeing a tax increase next fiscal year in order to keep communities safer.

With an 8-3 vote, Horry County Council passed the third and final reading for the $738 million budget.

The budget includes a 7.6 millage tax increase, which means residents with a $200,000 home will pay an additional $105.80. Those who are non-residents with homes in Horry County will have to pay an additional $136.20.

Councilman Harold Worley was vocal during Monday night’s reading about increasing taxes, stating he was against it. But other councilmembers, like Councilman Bill Howard, said that while he doesn’t like increasing taxes either, it’s becoming a public safety issue.

“How are we going to pay these police officers, these firemen, these EMS workers, these public works people? If we don’t raise taxes, we’re not going to be able to maintain the services that we need to do,” Howard said. “I don’t want to raise taxes but we’ve got to do the right thing for the county, for the people.”

One of the biggest ticket items in the budget is adding nearly 200 new jobs to public safety divisions in the county. Some of the new jobs include 43 new positions in the police department, 110 new positions with Horry County Fire Rescue and 20 telecommunicators with E911.

The budget will also give pay raises to county employees, including a 5% raise for those making $30,000 or less and 4.17% increase for employees who make between $30,000 and $40,000.

The budget also includes $167 million in projects including the Augusta Plantation Interchange and making improvements to Atlantic Avenue and Waccamaw Drive.

Horry County’s budget passed the third and final reading for its $738 million budget.

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