Williamsburg County budget deficit unresolved after special council meeting

VIDEO: Williamsburg County Budget deficit unresolved after special council meeting

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Williamsburg County is still working to balance its proposed budget for the 201-9-20 fiscal year after it was rejected twice.

The county started the year off with a $5 million deficit and eventually got it down to approximately $2.9 million. County Supervisor Tiffany Wright said the issues with the budget started before she became the supervisor.

This year’s budget is 22 million dollars, which is a 1.8 million increase from last year’s budget.

“Prior to me even taking over that there were some heavy increases that were approved by members of council a year ago for one of our departments,” said Wright.

She also says this year they have had to correct some of the decisions made as part of last year’s unbalanced budget.

Due to pay increases the county has had to make for employees and public safety agencies, the county is still trying to make up an estimated $880,000.

After several budget work sessions, Wright says she has already cut corners around the budget wherever she could. She believes it’s still not enough to make up for the deficit. She is asking the council to approve a $40 fee on vehicle taxes. Otherwise, they will have to furlough employees.

Council member Jonathan Miller opposed the tax increase during a special meeting called on Thursday. He said, “I do not want to see one citizen or county worker have to suffer anything when I have not submitted to doing anything that I can do.”

Other council members did see the need for a tax increase to save employees’ jobs.

The county has until June 30th to submit a balanced budget.

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