It's budget time for all cities and counties and here in the Midlands the City of Cayce is trying to find a way to fund all its core departments.
Cayce, SC (WLTX) - It's budget time for all cities and counties and here in the Midlands the City of Cayce is trying to find a way to fund all its core departments.
Council proposed a two-percent Hospitality Tax on the heels of other things like water and sewage prices going up.
The city of Cayce has a $10 million dollar budget and city leaders say they are having a tough time with expenses so they passed the first reading of a 2% hospitality that that would charge anyone an extra 2% on prepared food and drinks."
"Other than cutting core things, our firefighters, police dispatch and things like that, things that are critical to our citizens, we have got to find a funding source and I think this is the only thing we can do," said Councilwoman Tara Almond.
As the Cayce City Council prepares to pass a budget for next year they are faced with the task of raising taxes or cutting funding to several departments.
Cayce Mayor Elise Partin and Almond say a 2% hospitality tax can help the city.
"We can cut services we can raise property taxes, this is an option that is going to hurt the citizens the least and what we will do with that tax is to bring more people into our restaurants and our businesses," said Mayor Partin.
Council gave a unanimous first ok to the increase. The tax would bring in nearly 1 Million dollars a year to the city and would be taxed onto prepared food and drinks for anyone who buys it in the city.
"Its another tax that I will have to endure," said Russell Long.
Long is against the tax.
"We have a lot of people that are on a fixed income and we need to be aware of that. Sometimes as brutal as it is we have to cut services. Rather than increase taxes. "
Almond says that a lot of people from Columbia eat food in Cayce during lunch and millions of people visit the River Walk each year.
Council will still increase water and sewage by about 2% but she says residents won't take a major hit to the wallet.
"We are trying to save core services for our citizens, we could turn over our dispatch to Lexington County and the response time would be much longer. Our dispatchers know our people and our city, you call, we are there," said Almond.
The tax must pass a second reading and Mayor Partin believes it will pass.
If the tax passes it would take effect in October.