Williamsburg County avoids government shutdown by passing budget

Williamsburg County avoids government shutdown by passing budget

KINGSTREE, S.C. (WCSC) - Williamsburg County avoided a government shutdown Tuesday night after passing the budget for the fiscal 2019-2020 year.

It was the county's last chance to come up with a budget decision after turning down two budget proposals.

County council voted to pass the same budget amount that they operated on for the 2018-2019 year. This means the county will operate with the same revenue that they did last year.

The county has had some financial troubles stemming from an unbalanced budget last year. Officials then had to vote on an amended budget, which was the one voted on at Tuesday’s meeting.

The original proposed budget was approximately $22 million.

County Supervisor Tiffany Wright says they had to make up for some of the budget shortfall with two proposals.

The options presented in the original budget would have either added a $40 fee to a vehicle tax that county residents would pay, or furlough employees.

The fee would have yielded about $880,000 for the county.

Some council members who voted against the original budget felt that administration could provide a balanced budget without those options.

Wright and county council have been going back and forth and the deadline to file a balanced budget was supposed to be Sunday, meaning they’re already two days late.

Last year’s budget was roughly $21 million, which is about a million less than the original budget.

Wright says the county has new expenses this year that were not considered when the council voted on approving the same amount as last year’s budget.

“We will still be in a deficit,” said Wright. “Before I allow that to happen and not be able to pay our bills, I will have to take a different action.”

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