I am asking Town Council to introduce a 35.1 mill property tax to fund a $2 million annual payment to the James Island Public Service District for fire protection. Currently, the JIPSD funds fire service in the Town by directly taxing the Town’s property owners.
I am asking the JIPSD Commissioners to reduce the operating millage they collect in the Town by 35.1 mills and allow the Town to pay the difference directly to the JIPSD. The JIPSD currently collects 51.1 mills in the Town, so a 35.1 reduction would leave the JIPSD 16 mills to fund solid waste collection and other services in the Town. If the JIPSD and Town come to an agreement, the total operating millage collected by the Town and JIPSD together would remain 51.1 mills.
Municipalities are legally-obligated to provide a LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) property tax credit against their own millage. For the 2015-16 fiscal year, I am proposing a $2 million property tax credit, which would zero-out the Town’s new millage. IF the JIPSD and the Town come to an agreement, I project that the tax savings for a homeowner would be 31% on the County tax bills going out to Town residents this fall.
JIPSD Chairman Donald Hollingsworth initiated monthly Chairman/Mayor meetings this year. I outlined the Town’s new proposal to the Chairman at our March meeting. I also told him that Town’s proposal from last year remains on the table. If the Commissioners agree to allow a Town tax credit on the JIPSD line on the County tax bill, the introduction of a Town property tax can be postponed indefinitely. I greatly appreciate Chairman Hollingsworth’s willingness to discuss the Town’s tax proposals and I hope that the Commissioners will come to an agreement with the Town that allows for tax relief this year.
If you have any comments or questions, call me at 697-7020 or email me at email@example.com
Mayor Bill Woolsey