Again we see politics raising its ugly head once more with unusually great timing.
Horry County wants to raise the property tax millage 3.5 mills at a time when home foreclosures in Horry County are now among the highest in the nation. To add insult to injury the story about Horry County’s foreclosure rate being the eighth highest in the nation was in this issue of the paper as the tax hike article. It was smart of the Sun News editor to make sure both stories do not show up on the same page.
Let me see if I got this straight. Horry County now has been identified as having the eighth highest housing foreclosure rate in the nation, so Horry County Council wants to increase the property tax millage by 3.5 mills. That is an amazing contradiction.
The increase in millage is to prop up the fire fund, which would help Fire Rescue with staffing and equipment. The key words in the article were that the fund “would help Horry County Fire Rescue with staffing and equipment needs.” I believe in updating our rescue equipment and adding staff, but not by raising the property taxes at a time when the economy (contrary to what the government says) is still in the tank and foreclosures are among the highest in the nation.
Horry County residents are having a hard time meeting day to day expenses now. What the Fire Rescue equipment may end up being used for is putting out fires in vacant housing. Besides, Horry County Fire Rescue has the help of every city, town and village within 100 miles of Horry County when needed.
I do not believe raising taxes is in the best interest of the residents of Horry County during these hard times. There are other ways to raise money for the fire fund, such as bake sales, door to door requests, etc.
The County Council members need to get back to reality and try to protect the people of Horry County rather than punishing them by raising taxes. I am amazed just how tax happy (especially sales tax) the County Council mmbers truly are. Isn’t it about time to give raising taxes a rest?
The writer lives in Conway.