Moncks Corner property owners to see 15 percent tax increase

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 10:19 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 12:26 AM EDT
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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - For the first time in seven years, homeowners and landowners in Moncks Corner will see a 15 percent property tax increase starting on October 1.

At the Moncks Corner Town Council meeting Thursday evening, the vote for a new budget was passed unanimously with only one member of the public providing input.

The economy, fuel prices and labor costs are all contributing factors according to Mayor Michael Lockliear, but the main reason for the increase is to afford and pay public employees.

“Retention has been very tough over the last year keeping employees,” Lockliear said. “Since other people are paying more around us, we had to step up and do the same thing.”

The tax hike means a homeowner with a property valued at $250,000 will have to pay $100 more per year on property taxes. Statistically, it is normal to increase taxes by about two-percent each year.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Special Prosecutor Tyler Jenkins was the only one who asked a question during the public input portion of the meeting.

“My real question as far as the millage rate, 15 percent in one year seems like a pretty high number,” Jenkins said. “Was there any discussion about why that wasn’t incrementally put into place?”

In response, Lockliear said this is the first time in seven years that the city has had to increase property tax, which he is very proud of.

“We did it so we wouldn’t have to come back in two years and do it again,” Lockliear said. “As a resident of Moncks Corner, I’d much rather be taxed one time now and then another time in 10 years or so, but not every two years.”

Every year, the city government meets for a budget workshop where they go through the department by department and cut what is needed for a balanced budget. This year, Lockliear said they were short about $325,000 with the more expensive costs coming from health care and retirement benefits to public employees

“With that being done, it put a big dent in our budget,” Lockliear said. “That’s why the millage increase came and hopefully it will take us through the next six to seven-eight years.”

The new budget takes place from Oct. 1, 2022, until Sept. 30, 2023. Operating revenues will increase from $12,417,159 to $15,622,744 and operating expenditures will increase from $14,151,802 to $15,363,175.