Charleston Co. expected to pass budget with tax increases for some districts
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County Council is expected to approve their budget for next year that comes with raises to property taxes to some areas within the county.
Charleston County Council Chairman Herb Sass said the 2023-2024 budget is around 10% larger than last year’s. He said they are expecting to raise taxes for homes in some special districts, like St. Paul’s Fire District, but the rest of the county won’t have a tax increase.
Sass said ensuring there was no county wide tax increase was one of his biggest priorities for this year’s budget.
“That’s what all of us wanted. All nine council members really wanted that,” he said. “Our staff had to work really hard to get there because earlier in the year, like January or February, we were working on this, and they started working on this in November for the next year’s budget. It didn’t look like we were going to get there.”
The new budget comes with raises for county employees and funding for the county’s new public works building.
County employees have already received a 3% pay raise. Officials said another 4.5% pay bump will happen around August.
“I’m excited about our employee workforce. I think we have a great workforce,” Sass said. “We want to keep them together. We want to keep them working. I think they’re good folks, and we want to keep them. I’m excited about our capital projects that we have in the mix.”
St. Paul’s Fire District Chief Truss Johnson said their increase will help hire six full-time employees to allow them to staff a station near Meggett. That station and another station in Adams Run remain closed due to staffing issues.
Below is a breakdown of how much property taxes will increase for homes in special districts with an appraised value of $400,000:
- Awendaw-McClellanville Fire District: $64 increase
- St. Paul’s Fire District: $46.40 increase
- St. Andrew’s Parks and Playground: $32 increase
- St. Johns Fire District: $24 increase
- Northern Fire District: $19 increase
The county’s new fiscal year begins July 1.
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