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Counties struggling to find funds to pay for needed services.

February 27, 2007

The State Firday,Feb. 23, 2007

The caption for your article is not the correct statement. The counties can pay for all its needed services that it has now with the inflation factor plus population growth. The growth will pay for the present and expanded services two ways: As more businesses are built and more homes are built they will be at a higher value hpc-larger.jpg, more property tax revenue. This will pay for additional services as the county grows.

The counties already have more services than are needed. I have lived at my present address for 22 years and every year property taxes go up. Our property taxes dropped in 1998 with the relief the Legislators gave us , but has increased 400% by 2006 in only 8 years. My services have not increased in 22 years. I pay for garbage pickup and have a well for good water and a septic tank for sewer.

The counties could charge IMPACT FEES to the builders for more fire stations, etc. as the new homes and commercial buildings are the cause for the need . They will not do this because they sold out to the builder lobbyists. The counties could impose a business tax for their pork barrel wants, but they sold out to the chamber of commerce lobbyists. The county council wants the taxpayers to foot the pork barrel projects. There is too much tax money being spent now. They also want to put a $25.00 road fee ( fees are still taxes ) on all our vehicles so they can pave private maintained roads and then take then as more costly upkeep for the taxpayers . The people who built on these private maintained roads knew where they were building. The counties can not keep the paved roads up now so why pave more.

The cap was put on the local governments’ millage rates because they have not shown any restraints on spending when they were given home rule The local governments are crying because they can not tax and spend at will for all their PORK BARREL and PET PROJECT WANTS .Examples are : Pelion airport ,Funding a go for broke airlines and all the empty buildings they have built. They also talk about funding a no answer to anyone but Mayor Coble bus line.

The State paper said “The effect of the law could be that cities, towns and counties may be able to maintain the current level of services, but won’t be able to add new services, no matter how much they are desired or needed. ” Do we need any more pork projects at the tax payers expense? Quoting councilman Smoky Davis “With the new restrictions by state law, every county is going to have to do with what we’ve got.” That is how every citizen in South Carolina has to live .We live with what we got and need not what we want. That is why our Legislators put a cap on the millage rate and let the people decide with a vote on capping the reassessment in the South Carolina Constitution . This was done because the Legislators knew the local Government’s and Schoolboard’s would not slow down on spending on their own accord. The Legislators gave us the relief in 1998, but the local government’s kept spending out of control anyway. That was the only way the local government’s could be restrained in their wanton spending .

The Legislators have not completed their task until all the taxes are eliminated from our primary homes and the fear of losing them in our twilight years. This could be done a very simple way, as the tax law is already on the books. Increase the deed stamp to pay for taxes and earmark the increase to pay them off or simply they could be taken off with the budget surplus that we have. They also need to give us the vote to keep it off with a constitutional amendment. Property taxes on our primary homes collected by the local government will only be 18 –20 per cent of the total property taxes.

David Whetsell
President stoptax
Lexington , S.C. 803-957-8694

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