September 21, 2005
The Aiken County Council voted last night to raise the county’s millage rate. Half of what the new property taxes are paying for is more law enforcement officers. News 12 is on your side to explain what you’re paying for.
The millage rate is going up six percent. So, on a $100,000 house you’ll pay about 20 more dollars a year. What does that money get you?
Bottom line, Aiken County is growing. And Sheriff Hunt says to keep up with demand he needs more than $800,000 to hire 11 new officers.
“So it was a matter of we’ve got to keep up with the times and not get any further behind,” Sheriff Michael Hunt said.
County Council agreed. They raised property taxes six percent. And half of that money will pay for new officers.
“Six percent to me a retiree on Social Security and a limited income is a lot and the property taxes that we paid before we even protested those,” said Luanne Langmo.
“Unfortunately no one wants to pay more money, but if we have higher demands we’re gonna need more money to pay for things,” said Molly Groat.
Sheriff Hunt already hired the officers after they were approved in this year’s budget. Five patrol deputies, two 911 dispatchers and four detention center deputies are training now. They’ll start work in December.
“The citizens want to be able to have good emergency service, law enforcement, EMS fire department, but it doesn’t come free,” Sheriff Hunt said.
Sheriff Hunt says if Aiken County continues to grow, this won’t be the last time he’ll ask for more manpower.