Beaufort officials proposing new fee for taxpayers

Beaufort officials proposing new fee for taxpayers.

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Beaufort officials are reviewing the city's budget for next year and if it's approved, it could cost you more money.

Council are currently discussing a new fee as part of this budget proposal. It's called a service fee, and officials say they need the money to keep the public safe.

According to the proposal, this fee would be applied to each parcel of land. The money would be used to maintain state-owned roads and sidewalks, and provide more fire and police protection in parts of the city.

Officials says because of state mandates, the amount of money the city is able to collect from taxes are limited – and that's why they're considering this fee.

"We're finally at a point where we're saying, are we going to maintain the sides of the roads and keep Beaufort beautiful or are we going to maintain storm water ditches so mosquitoes don't grow? Or are we going to patch sidewalks so people don't trip and fall or are we going to fully fund the needs we have inside the police department, the fire department and other public work's needs," said Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling.

Council says they won't make a decision until next month but if it is approved, they hope this service fee would only be temporary.

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