Horry County Council is spending your tax dollars like a bunch of drunken sailors making a port call.
The council voted 6-5 to amend the FY 2016 budget to include a countywide tax increase of 7.2 mils for the general fund, to increase the business license fees and to raise the road fee to $50 for every vehicle registered in the county.
Council chairman Mark Lazarus was joined by council members Al Allen, Bill Howard, Johnny Vaught, Gary Loftus, and James Frazier in voting yes for the tax increase.
This is an increase of 20% on general fund operating millage and 67% on the vehicle road fee. The increase of 7.2 mils for the general fund is the maximum limit allowed by state law or council probably would have gone higher.
This comes on top of a 6 mil tax increase (50%) for the fire fund in all the unincorporated areas of the county approved two years ago.
And not that many years before, council added 3 mils (100%) to the waste recycling fee in the unincorporated areas of the county.
It used to be if you lived in the city you could expect fairly routine tax increases, albeit for a higher level of services. Now, that holds true for tax increases in the unincorporated areas of Horry County just not for the level of services.
To paraphrase former Republican senator Everett Dirksen, a few mils here, a few mils there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.
Of course, Dirksen was speaking against federal tax and spend programs.
In Horry County, it’s the Republicans who have proudly become the tax and spend party.