The proposed Horry County tax increase being considered by Horry County Council will not provide much benefit to public safety services.
This is contrary to what has been publicized about it – a tax increase for public safety.
The proposal does include adding seven new detectives, only four of which will serve the county directly. No new patrol officers will be added, according to information provided to Horry County Council members at last Wednesday’s budget workshop.
According to county officials, 63% of the county’s general fund budget is spent on the Department of Public Safety. Since 2006, the Department of Public Safety has absorbed the bulk of the increase in the budget.
In that sense and that sense only, the proposed 7.2 mil tax increase can be considered a public safety increase.
However, as council member Harold Worley said at last week’s Horry County Council budget workshop, not one penny of the tax increase will go toward putting one extra officer on the street. Response times will not go down nor will community policing increase because of the tax increase.
The tax increase is really a response by Horry County Council to widespread discontent among county employees with respect to the new four year contract, including $10,000 per year pay increases, approved recently for Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge.