Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire asking for tax increase

The Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire Department is asking for a property tax increase to help them pay for a new fire station.

The new fire station would house six firefighters, two for each shift.

"We see that our ISO (Insurance Service Organization) rating could go up, we want to prevent that, we want to get station four built and staffed," said board director Al Hitchcock.

To pay for the new station and firefighters, MIGCF is asking for a two mill increase to property taxes inside their special tax district.

Originally the board proposed doubling the millage to 20, something South Carolina State Representative Steven Goldfinch opposed.

"I think 10 mil is certainly out of line as far as what the board should have," said Goldfinch.

The board has now proposed a two mill increase, which pleases the former opposition.

"I don't think anybody has a problem with a small millage increase to continue the good fire protection here in Murrells Inlet Garden City," said former Georgetown County Council member Tom Swatzel.

The board admits this is not an immediate need, but that they are planning for the future.

"We are planning for the future that's our responsibility as a board to look into the future and plan the emergency services," said Hitchcock.

The proposed mill increase would have to pass through the state senate and house of representatives, and the governor before going into affect.

Goldfinch believes the bill should not be presented until 2014.