WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some local governments across the Midlands are raising property taxes to meet rising inflation costs.
On Monday, West Columbia City Council voted to approve a property tax increase for residents.
Several residents showed up to the council meeting in opposition to a tax increase, saying now is not the time. Jerry Harvell says he is on a fixed income with social security and is worried about having to pay $30 more in property taxes in the upcoming year.
"It just doesn't make any sense," Harvell said. "Why should they be going up on taxes when the bottom is getting ready to fall out?"
However, residents of West Columbia are not alone in having to pay more. There are several counties in the Midlands raising taxes this year.
Calhoun County is one of those counties. Residents will now be paying $33 per year, and per $100,000 of assessed home value.
Calhoun County Administrator, John McLauchlin says like most other counties in the midlands, they tried to refrain from raising taxes during the pandemic.
"In this upcoming year's budget, due to the inflation of costs...and difficulties in finding a workforce, all of that is added to the overall cost of doing business, and ultimately it's a business the county is running here, so it's hard to stay the status quo without some kind of an increase," McLauchlin explained.
County officials like McLauchlin do not want to burden residents, and some in West Columbia have even tried to fight any increases.
"There is no doubt that we are in a recession," said councilwoman, Erin Porter. "West Columbia is working class, and I believe the middle of a recession is no time for a millage increase."
Although the property taxes increased in West Columbia, other areas like the city of Cayce and the city of Columbia are still in the process of deciding on a tax increase.