Beaufort County passes $99 million budget for 2013-14 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort Co. passes 2013-14 budget

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

Beaufort County has passed a $99.3 million budget for 2013-14, which will cause property taxes to increase.

The budget passed in a 6 to 5 vote Tuesday. The council members who did not vote in favor of the budget say the council didn't do enough to decrease spending and prevent residents from paying higher property taxes the same year their property values go down.

Folks living in a house worth $100,000 will now pay $10 more in taxes, and folks living in a house worth $200,000 will pay $20 more in taxes, according to councilman Brian Flewelling.

Property values have taken a 10 percent decrease county wide.

"We completely dropped the ball," said Flewelling. "I feel like we let tax prayers down."

After the budget was approved, Councilman Steven Baer made an announcement that shocked everyone.

"I believe there's not more I can help council accomplish, there for, effective in July, 31, 2013, I resign from county council."

Baer was one of the five council members who voted against the budget. He and other council members wanted to lower spending so property taxes wouldn't increase, but that didn't happen. Flewelling said council members could have looked at other places to cut.

"I just feel like there's something else we missed," Flewelling said.

"Tax payers deserve better management of their funds," said Baer.

This is the first time in five years that the county has increased taxes.

Baer has been on the council since 2006. The county will hold a special election to find his replacement. As of now, there is not a date set for the election. 

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