Five percent tax increase to begin in Beaufort Co. on July 1 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Five percent tax increase to begin in Beaufort Co. on July 1

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

After much back and forth in a split decision, the Beaufort County Council has finally set its 2017 fiscal budget.

The decision was split 6-4 with four council members voting against the proposed budget, which is almost $9 million more than what was set last year. Because of this huge revenue gap, residents may have to pay more in property taxes.

Starting July 1, Beaufort County's $116 million budget goes into effect which will cause property owners to pay 5 percent more in taxes.

"It's a lot of concern, right now I feel we pay enough taxes already. I mean a lot of people collect a lot of money for all type of sources so if they're collecting it for the school then I'm in agreement with it, but a lot of the money goes to different areas and not the proper places it should be going to,” said Andre Loving, concerned over tax increase.

That money would also help offset some costs for the school district which is why some property owners aren't opposed to the increase.

"Education is more important than most people put a premium on and if that's one of the main things that's taken care of, I'm always for being able to provide more opportunity better schools, better books, giving education to those who can’t make it to the schools some type of programs. It's not always about taking care of your own kids it's about other people's kids,” said Daniel Andrews, concerned over tax increase.

Included in the 2017 budget is the hiring of at least 25 new county employees, $2 million of which would be used for a cost of living increase.

When it comes to the Beaufort County School District budget, council will meet again on June 27 for a final vote.

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