CALHOUN COUNTY, S.C. — A tax increase could be on the way for Calhoun County residents as the county council prepares its new fiscal year budget.
“If we don’t grow, we die so we’re gonna have to grow this county," said chairman James Haigler.
As the Calhoun County council considers its budget plan, top of mind is higher pay for the sheriff's department. This comes after the department made a request for more money to help with recruitment and retention.
Under the current draft of the new budget, about $2.3 million is being allocated for the sheriff's department, which according to chairman James Haigler is an increase of about half a million dollars.
“He said, with what we provided for him, he’s sure that he will be able to retain officers now, so we’ve done our part," said Haigler.
Haigler says Calhoun County has been able to keep taxes low in comparison to neighboring counties due to the presence of industries, but that's expected to change.
He says in order to accommodate the higher budget, taxes could increase by as much as six mills. This means a $100,000 home is about an increase $30.00 a year.
“There comes a time where you have to raise taxes. You spend more money home, you spend more money everywhere and people expect services. We’re not gonna keep this county alive if we don’t give services," he said.
The county's budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 will be finalized by July 1.
The county's next budget work session is June 2 at 10 a.m. and it is open to the public. It will have third reading of the budget on June 26.