We would like to extend our dismay and discontent for the new proposed tax increase and levy. We work hard at 63 and 65 years of age and are not sitting on the pier fishing all day. We are contending with prostate cancer, health insurance bills, rising fuel costs, electric and water bills, along with high property insurance rates.
We do not live in Surfside Beach permanently since we have to work in order to cover our bills therefore we pay the higher property tax rate. We have two cars, one 12 years old and one 13 years old. We can't vote since we are in the classification of resident/non resident, an oxymoron if we ever heard of one. This translates to Taxation without Representation.
What more can you keep asking of us? Our house costs us approximately $19,000 to run for the year. We therefore have to rent it out to strangers just to cover our costs. We make nothing since we have to pay a management company, pool person, cleaning people, electricians, plumbers, repairmen and tree pruning personnel. We do all this to have a place for our 22 family members to gather each year for some R and R.
Parking meters, $50,000 for signs, seminars, improper use of facilities, holiday lights that are lit 24/7 during the holiday season, parking permits that are being handed out like candy (except for us who can only get one free and the other costs $40), utility poles that will never be removed although we were assured this project would be completed in a year, and flooding across our street,.
The increase will only burden us more and we don't see any reason for the excess spending that the board finds necessary to run Surfside Beach. Local merchants should be approached for donations for marketing materials, food for seminars, adopt a spot, pier renovations, etc. Start charging for use of the community center in order to defray the upkeep. Use the wealth you have within the town before you look to spend elsewhere. Bids need to be presented for proposed projects and budgets need to be solvent and within our means. The homeowners are not the town's cookie jar.
In no way are we criticizing the Town of Surfside’s departments or personnel. We are quite pleased with the service we receive from most departments. It’s the excess nonsense to portray a simple beach community in order to keep up with the Jones’ that we find inappropriate.
We hesitate expressing our views in public session at the board meetings since members of the board deem it fair to remove anyone with unpopular opinions. It all seems to be a charade with the board's mind being made up at executive session meetings, only to go through the motions to portray a democratic public meeting.
If we ran our homes like you run the Town, we would be in foreclosure. You must remember that Surfside Beach is a beach community, not Vegas. Plan and spend within your means and put the welcome sign back out. Homeowners are selling and heading to other communities to escape the continuing debacle within our town.
The writer lives in Surfside Beach.