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Proposed tax increase for West Columbia residents

West Columbia City Council is trying to raise property taxes to provide more funding for law enforcement and other city services.
Credit: Peyton Lewis
West Columbia city council is looking to raise their budget for next year through potential cuts and increasing property taxes.

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Property taxes in West Columbia could be going up soon. 

In a city council meeting Tuesday, West Columbia city council members discussed increasing property taxes in order to raise more money for the city budget. 

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"The general fund property taxes were estimated using 66.241 in operating mils and 6.6 in debt service mils so the proposed budget would adjust property taxes to 7.444 mills," explained the city's financial adviser. 

The city says raising the local millage rate to 7.444 would give them more money in the budget to enhance the police department, sanitation, and maintain other public services for residents. 

A millage rate is the tax rate used to calculate local property taxes. 

The council is looking to increase property taxes to 7.44 mills. Which means, if approved, residents can expect to pay an extra $2.48 per month for every $100,000 home.

However, councilman Mike Green believes the taxes should not increase.

"We are about to go into a recession," Green said. "Gas prices are going to be upwards of $5 in the coming months and I can't see burdening our citizens with an extra $30 to $40 for each $100,000 their house is worth. I just can't support this."

At Tuesday's meeting, council members voted 6-3 to pass the first reading of the budget which means they are approving to move forward with the proposed budget. 

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"I don't see how raising it is a little bit with as much as the city is growing... I just don't see how it is a bad thing," said councilman Joseph Dickey.

If approved, an estimated $7.5 million will be collected in property taxes next year. 

The next time West Columbia city council will look at the budget will be on Monday, June 20 at 6 p.m.

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