Mayor: Mount Pleasant is in best financial shape ever

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Mount Pleasant officials say the town is in the best financial shape ever. Mayor Linda Page made the announcement alongside town council members on Tuesday after receiving an unmodified auditing opinion.  

Mount Pleasant resident, Stephen Bucher, says he's been living in the town since the mid 1980s. 

"I think this is part of the reason I like living here because they are careful with our tax dollars," Bucher said.

Mayor Page says all the town's departments spent less than they could have.

"This is money that we budged and we returned it back, $6.6 million back to the general fund," Page said.

She says about $2 million could go towards infrastructure like storm drains, roads and recreation projects. 

"We accomplished this when we're faced with many many community needs," Page said. "We're building a brand new town hall, we had a hurricane, we have the lowest taxes in the region."

Bucher says he feels the impact of the tax difference.

"I used to have an office in Charleston, I moved my office to Mount Pleasant," Bucher said.  "When I saw how much I was saving on my business license I was stunned."

However resident Routt Reigart has a different view.

"It's sort of good news, bad news," Reigart said. "The reason their in good financial shape, Mt. Pleasant keeps attracting more and more relatively well to do people so more money comes in."

The Charleston Chamber of Commerce estimates that about 45 people are moving into this region each day.

"When you have a budget that has some flexibility, perhaps there are options you can talk about that maybe will incentivize or create opportunities to work on issues like water quality, affordable housing," Page said.

While Mount Pleasant is seeing rapid growth, people hope their quality of life remains.

"It's gotten kind of crowded but that's what happens when you live somewhere other people want to live," Bucher said.

Reigart says he loves Mount Pleasant and he likes where he lives.

The Government Finance Officer's Association has presented Mount Pleasant an award for excellence in financial reporting for 28 years in a row. 

Mayor Page also says this year town employees received increased wages.

With the Charleston County half-cents sales tax referendum that passed in November and this fiscal milestone for the town, Page says the priority project is to finish widening Highway 17 to the bridge at Highway 41.

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