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Town proposes tax increase to pay for public projects

june 14 council

Town Council proposed a tax millage increase to pay for parks and recreational facilities on June 14. 

Voters in Mount Pleasant might have a chance to decide on a recreation referendum to improve specific recreation projects in the Town. At the June 14 town council meeting, councilmembers discussed the proposed tax millage increase.

The proposed millage increase is four mills. An increase of one mill is equal to an additional $4 per every $100,000 in the appraised value of a home. For a home valued at $500,000, residents can expect an $80 yearly increase on their tax bill. For a home valued at $700,000, residents can expect a $112 increase.

The referendum would issue a $50,000,000 debt for 15 years at a 2.5% interest rate. According to the town, four mills will bring in approximately $4,400,000 in revenues and leave roughly $400,000 in operational expenses per year.

The funds would cover the costs of Rifle Range Road Park, Mount Pleasant Way, Park West Pool and the acquisition of greenspace for land preservation and passive use.

Specific improvements and additions to the projects include the following:

The construction, maintenance and operation of Rifle Range Road Park to include a multipurpose facility gymnasium, recreational program rooms, athletic fields, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, disc golf, sand volleyball courts, a playground, picnic pavilions, performance stage, boardwalk, trails and a fishing pier.

The acquisition, construction, maintenance and operation of Mount Pleasant Way, a network of multi-use paths to link key portions of the town, including recreation facilities, parks and neighborhoods.

The renovation and maintenance of Park West Pool, including the demolition, redesign and building of the lobby, locker rooms and office to include the addition of family restrooms and changing rooms, installation of HVAC and the construction of adjacent multipurpose rooms for meetings and rentals.

Councilman Howard Chapman expressed that he would like to see a second senior center added to the list of projects in the referendum. He said adding a senior center to the northern part of Mount Pleasant is a part of the Town's five-year Capital Improvement Plan, while other projects listed on the referendum are not.

“We need to make sure that when 49% of the voters in Mount Pleasant are 50 years old or older, we recognize that to get that passed,” Chapman said.

Councilman John Iacofano said he wanted the issuance to be $100,000,000 for 10 years and not phase out after the time is up.

“We have a lot of work to do in Mount Pleasant and I believe we can use the facilities and we can use the space,” Iacofano said.

A motion to approve the first reading of the proposed tax millage referendum passed unanimously. During the second reading next month, council may vote to amend the proposal. If the referendum is approved, it will appear on a ballot at the first opportunity.