Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District needs more funding and wants voters to decide on a tax hike

Grand Strand

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – The Murrells Inlet-Garden City fire district is trying to get a referendum to let voters decide if they want a tax hike to help fund the department.

Board members for the Murrells Inlet-Garden City fire district said they need roughly an additional $1.25 million in their budget, and the thing that drives the need is growth.

The district wants a millage increase of five mills for Horry and Georgetown counties, which would be effective tax year 2020.

That means if you own a $200,000 home on the Horry County side you would pay an estimated 30 dollars.

The district said that money would go towards a fourth paramedic ambulance, staffing needed for it, and a shift commander position.

Last year, the district tried to have a similar referendum, but they put that on hold because the district had not done a financial audit since 2014.

Now, the district said they’ve fixed the problem and they’re all caught up except their 2018 audit. The board chairman said that is typically ready for review in May.

He also said there’s been a suggestion they hold off until that audit is ready.

“If we were to wait for that we would miss the deadlines necessary for notices to the public for having a referendum. We cannot postpone it anymore or this fire district will slide backward and service will be affected,” said Board Chairman George Oldroyd.

The board is in the process in finalizing their request for the referendum to both Horry and Georgetown counties board of elections.

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