Home tax help

All Berkeley County property owners should be aware of the Homestead Exemption Act.

The act applies to the primary residence of homeowners who qualify in one of three ways: They are 65 years of age or over, they are totally and permanently disabled, or they are legally blind.

This act exempts the first $50,000 off the value of the qualified applicant's home. However, applicants are required to come in to the county auditor's office and apply.

The exemption continues in effect unless there is a change in the title of the residence, change in disability or marital status, change of primary residence, the property is disposed of, or the dwelling is rented.

This act may apply to living trusts and other trusts if the trustee holds legal title to the home and the beneficiary of the trust is qualified by age or disability.

A taxpayer may be eligible for exemption of taxes on the qualified residence by the S.C. Department of Revenue if a homeowner has a 100 percent total and permanent service-connected disability.

This disability exemption may be from Veterans Affairs, law enforcement or firefighter services. It also applies if the homeowner is a paraplegic or hemiplegic.

For the purposes of this exemption, paraplegic or hemiplegic includes a person with Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which has caused the same ambulatory difficulties as a person with paraparesis or hemiparesis. The auditor's office would be happy to assist in the completion of this application form.

We encourage any homeowner who may qualify for these programs to contact the Berkeley County Auditor's Office for assistance.

Please come by our office located at 1003 Highway 52 in Moncks Corner or call 723-3800 (Charleston), 567-3136 (St. Stephen), or 719-4727 (Moncks Corner) for more information.

Janet Brown Jurosko

Berkeley County Auditor

Highway 52

Moncks Corner

Policing the world

Once again, war drums are beating. Some among us believe we should try to lead in this world by getting involved in every country's disagreements and battles. Some of these battles have been going on since Jesus walked on this Earth.

These war hawks tend to fly around the world on the taxpayers' dime to identify those we need to assist. Should we wonder what's in it for them?

One way to stop the beating of these drums would be to institute the draft again, so every American family could have the opportunity to shed blood or lose an arm or leg for the country and the cause.

Our current Army is tired, as are the American people. We have enough problems in our own country that these same hawks can't seem to come together and solve. As it is, the Army goes to battle while America goes to the mall.

Enough is enough. Let us come together as Americans and stand up to these hawks and stop trying to lead the world while destroying our own.

Divided we fall.

Lib Patterson

W. Doty Avenue

Summerville

Guns are forever

Firearms are constantly in the news, and mostly they make for bad news. Guns seem to show up frequently, in almost every place, and they are becoming the first choice in many conflict resolutions.

This abundance of firearms should be no surprise. Here's why: Firearms tend to be made of hardened steel, and they fit the description of what is referred to by economists as "durable goods." This refers to items expected to last three to five years.

However, the cold, hard fact is that firearms made this year will be in circulation and functional for many decades to come. In that context they might as well be called "indestructible goods." This means that no matter what happens to the demand for guns in this country, it is unlikely there will ever be a genuine shortfall in supply.

Unless your heart is set on owning a Kalashnikov, that is. In that case, you might have to wait just a little while longer, or pay a lot more. I doubt that the recent embargo on Russian products will create much of a shortage.

More likely, the recent run on gun shops is just a Pavlovian response to group fear of being denied access to something they want.

Obviously, Kalashnikovs are desirable. It is not clear why so many people need one.

Carey R. Brier

Axtell Drive

Summerville

Coleman plan fails

I read with great interest The Post and Courier's editorial "Let Mount Pleasant grow up." In the interest of full disclosure, the editors should have noted that their parent Evening Post Industries is currently dabbling in a bit of development.

According to its website, it will be breaking ground on the Courier Square development this fall. Courier Square will be a 2.8-acre development of apartments, commercial properties and a parking deck. Sound familiar?

The editors appear to have an interest in ensuring the Charleston community at large approves of this type development.

Mount Pleasant, in its effort to create a live, work and play community along Coleman Boulevard, has missed the mark. The live and play components have grown while the effort to create nearby places to work has failed miserably.

Mayor Swails threw the door open for residential development without planning for the negative impacts on roads, economic development and most importantly schools.

The result will be for residents to vote to continue taxing themselves to build schools even though the town council has already voted to raise taxes for infrastructure. Mayors Swails and Linda Page have proven to be the one-two punch for uncontrolled growth. Specifically, the dense apartment growth, with another phase coming quickly, has burdened adjoining neighborhoods with uncontrolled parking and sharply increased traffic.

The notion that many people are riding bikes or walking to work simply is not true and won't be until economic development occurs.

Lastly, The Post and Courier says Mount Pleasant must grow vertically to accommodate all who wish to move here. I disagree and feel that the Town of Mount Pleasant does not have to sprawl, nor does it have to go vertical.

Perhaps it is time to grow only within our boundaries in a well-managed way that will not overwhelm our currently planned infrastructure. We do not have to be the most populated or largest municipality at the expense of our residents.

Joe Bustos

King Street

Mount Pleasant

Mr. Bustos, a former Mount Pleasant Town Councilman, ran for mayor in 2009 and 2013.

Hometown heroes

As the story goes, back in 2001, some local promoters doubted Hootie and the Blowfish could still fill a stadium.

Boy, were they wrong. Hootie fans have filled 7,000-plus seats in the beautiful Family Circle Cup Stadium on Daniel Island for the last 12 years running. And the impact goes far beyond two nights of great music each year led by a Middleton High graduate.

During the last 12 years, attendees have filled long, yellow school buses with tens of thousands of dollars in school supplies for Charleston County School District students.

Thank you, to band members Darius, Soni, Mark, Dean and crew for throwing the best party of the year again. Thank you to Bob Moran and the amazing team at FCC Stadium for hosting the two-night party and the free daytime family fun event on Aug. 9.

Thank you, to Shelia Greer and the Community Ed team at Burke High downtown for ensuring that support generated by this event reaches students from across the school district in the form of supplies, haircuts, dental checkups and more before school starts each year.

Thank you to all the media for promoting and covering the event, and thanks to all the other heroes who volunteer their time and talents each year to sustain this important local project.

I am already looking forward to next year, and I know the students are too.

Chad Vail

Pierce Street

Charleston