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Dorchester County Council puts tax increase to vote

Dorchester County Council puts tax increase to vote

This week, county council decided to put a tax increase on the November ballot.


Here's how the tax increase works:

According to Councilman Jay Byars, the additional penny tax would be added to all purchases county wide. A portion of that money would be given back to property owners as a tax relief credit. Dorchester County has a notoriously higher property tax than their neighbors.

Byars said this is an opportunity to take advantage of out of town shoppers who account for 20% of retail sales.

The tax relief applies to primary homes, secondary homes and business property. Byars believes the tax credit will attract new business.


Here's the catch. 


The property tax relief is based on how much is raised. Last year $8.5 million would have been raised through a penny sales tax.

The county is only required to return 71 percent of the money. Up to 21 percent can be used for county operations. Council members have the option to return 100 percent through property tax relief. 


The tax question will show up on the ballot in November for voters to decide. If passed, it would take effect in July 2014.

 

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