Oconee’s financial crunch

In the eyes of its administrator, Oconee County faces a stark challenge in what some see as a new normal after the Great Recession. Scott Moulder laid out for the County Council last night a choice of either raising taxes and fees or cutting spending which means fewer services. Moulder proposed a general county budget for the next year of $42.4 million in expenses, $1.2 million below anticipated revenues. He suggested a combination of a 1.2 mill tax increase and a first-ever $15 dollar road maintenance fee on all registered vehicles. Councilmen said Moulder’s budget presentation gave them much to think about it and will take it up again in two weeks during another budget workshop. The administrator’s idea to assess a road maintenance fee that could generate as much as $600 thousand a year to pave roads, he explained, is an idea to get the county back into the road paving business. After Councilman Wayne McCall questioned whether motorists relying only on Social Security should be afforded a discount based on the age of their vehicles, Moulder agreed to research the legality and feasibility of an age-oriented fee structure.