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Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 09:05 PM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

"Republican" majority on Council Enabled Largest Tax Increase.

Republican majority on Council Enabled Largest Tax Increase

Why did they propose and pass the largest tax increase in Greenville County history?  To subsidize developers under "affordable housing" schemes, to increase the amount of empty city busses on our roads, to build a luxurious new county government building, and to subsidize expensive conservation easements instead of creating more parks and sports fields for the public.

Were it not for the scrutiny of conservative, smaller-government, lower-tax Council members like Benton Blount, Rick Bradley, Stan Tzouvelakis, and me, this (already) outrageous tax rate increase would have been much more.  The original ask by the County Administrator, promoted by Chairman Dan Tripp and his followers, was for over 11 mills! I pushed back, demonstrating with numbers that we could fully fund law enforcement, public safety, and all needed services without any increase. I was proposing ways to decrease your taxes! If you look at the graphic above, the new increase brings in about an additional $13 million over the year before.  This amount corresponds directly with $10 million for "affordable housing" subsidies to developers, and about $3 million to subsidize city busses and conservation easements.

Realize that the County, even during the worst of Covid economic upheaval, was still enjoying increasing annual income from you the taxpayer.  Not only that, county government received a colossal $240 million dollar mound of additional federal money through the ARPA and CARES Acts. So, is this tax increase needed to sustain the new level of luxury that free federal money go us to? Does the County need more of your money to pay for the new County Square? Is it a combination of both? We know one thing for sure, none of the new budget goes to roads.

In the end, Council let down with the largest tax increase in Greenville County history. Remember, this is an increase of the rate at which you are taxed, not just more of your money. Your Council has decided for you that it can do a better job than you can of allocating your income and property.

Wrapping things up, your tax bill is higher because some Council members did not follow the principles they ran on: less taxes, smaller government, supporting small businesses, personal freedom and responsibility. Instead, they took more money from you and expanded County government.

There remains a lawsuit by leaders and citizens against the County for, among other things, failure to simply follow the law. I support every effort to ensure that the budget process follows the law and is fair to you the taxpayer.  I also fight for transparency by this government that you are taxed by.

If you have any questions about your tax bill, please start with County tax collector staff at: 864.467.7050.  If you continue to need assistance, let me know and I will work to help you get the correct answers.