MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WCBD) – Happening today, residents in the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District will decide whether or not to raise taxes.
The Fire District is asking voters to approve a 5 mill increase from 14 mills to 19 mills. Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire Rescue Board Chairman George Oldroyd says an increase of 5 mills could bring in roughly 1.25 million in new income.
If approved, taxpayers in the Fire District would still be paying less than those in surrounding districts like Horry county and Midway Fire Rescue.
“We’re not talking about turning profits, we’re not talking about investment strategies,” said George Oldroyd. “We’re talking about life and death business”.
The increase will allow the department to add a fourth paramedic ambulance and more personnel. It will also keep salaries in line with other departments in the area.
“The most immediate need that we have right now is to fill the fourth paramedic unit, 24/7,” said Pat Walsh, Vice Chairman of the board. “All three of our EMS units are busy, responding to emergencies at the same time, leaving the district with no EMS units and relying on mutual aid from some surrounding jurisdiction”.
If the referendum passes, those with a $200,000 home could see taxes increase by about $30 per year. The change would be seen on tax bills this October and be effective in 2020.