Audience restless over proposed tax increase and new fee

Last night’s large Oconee County Council meeting audience reflected restlessness. During public comment  several Oconeeans  railed against the idea of a tax mill increase and a first-ever road maintenance fee. One man complained, “We want a decent rate.” Another, Berry Nichols, in a reference to Oconeeans on fixed incomes, asked the county officials to imagine having to balance their home budgets on no more than $25 thousand a year. As a committee, the council is scheduled next week to once again consider its administrator’s ideas for a $15 dollar a year road fee and a general tax increase of 1.2 or three mills. Doug Young called South Carolina’s roads and highways the worst in the country, and he decried the fact that South Carolina has not raised its gasoline tax in 23 years. Young called for Republicans to drop their “no tax” pledge, and he asked Oconee County Council to ask the county’s state lawmakers “to get something going.”