The tax increase being discussed by Horry County Council appears much less necessary than those council members supporting it would have us believe.
The proposed 7.2 mil increase for the general fund budget is being billed as a public safety increase.
It is not.
Included in the 7.2 mil tax increase is an across the board pay raise of at least 3% for all county employees.
While it is nice for any employee to get a pay raise, the question must be asked is it fair and equitable to charge county taxpayers extra taxes to satisfy county employees’ desire for a pay raise?
Council member Harold Worley spoke on the central issue of this question during Wednesday’s county council budget workshop.
“The people of Horry County are not making this type of money,” Worley said.
What Worley was referring to was the average pay scale for Horry County private sector employees.
According to Horry County budget documents, with the tax increase included, the county would pay $93.256 million for personal services to its employees in next year’s budget. Personal services are pay and benefits for employees.
According to the same statistics, the county has 1,631 employees paid out of general fund revenue.
These statistics equate to an average of $57,177 per employee in pay and benefits in next year’s budget.