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Dorchester County tax increase to add school resource officers into every school

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

Dorchester County residents are getting a tax increase, for the second time this summer.

In a special meeting Monday, County Council voted 4-2 to raise taxes and put a school resource officer in every elementary school.
 
Dorchester County council had "what if" in mind when voting to increase taxes county wide.

"If something was to happen and I voted against this...and some major issue happened...I'd have a problem with myself," said Willie Davis, Dorchester County Councilman.

After mass shootings in Charleston, and nationwide, parents and council members say they have to make protecting our children a priority. 

The one mill increase will allow the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office to add school resource officers in every DD2 and DD4 elementary school. 

"On a $150,000 home, the average assessed home in Dorchester County, it's about $6 per year," said David Chinnis, Chairman of the Dorchester County council 

During public comment, over a dozen residents spoke. Every single one insisted child safety was a top priority, but not the only factor in making a decision.

Council Members Carroll Duncan and Larry Hargett voted against the increase. 

"They've already gotten a tax increase, just a month ago, and now they're asking for another one," said Carroll Duncan, Dorchester County council member. "It's very difficult."

Earlier this summer, Dorchester County Council voted to raise taxes with a 5.5. millage. It'll go towards hiring EMS and detention center officers. 

In total, Dorchester County homeowners with a $150,000 home, will be paying an additional $50 in taxes, according to Chinnis.

"Businesses are still trying to get back on their feet and I did not think that this was the correct year to raise taxes," said Duncan.

Some of the other council members felt leaving some elementary schools without school resource officers wasn't a risk worth taking.

"This is the year to do this...if one SRO, in one school, prevents a tragedy," said Chinnis.

Due to some residents unhappiness about the tax increase, council also voted to have the tax last three years, instead of 5.

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