Berkeley tax boost possible County eyes cuts to budget

Berkeley County taxpayers' wallets could take a hit over the next couple years as the school district struggles to keep up with growth.

Berkeley County taxpayers will not be hit in the wallet to fund a proposed 3 percent pay raise for employees.

The $56.4 million budget presented by Supervisor Dan Davis Tuesday did not include a tax increase, and Davis said he cut in other areas to afford the additional pay.

“I just felt like we had to do that this year,” he said.

Employees took on additional duties when the county downsized, but they have not had raises since a 1.5 percent increase in July 2010. They were given one-time payouts in December 2011 and 2012.

The budget does not include several items that council members have at times discussed, such as money for reopening the satellite office in Goose Creek or, for the second year, a payment toward the county’s $7.5 million commitment to Trident Technical College’s Nursing and Science Building. Davis has questioned whether council promised to help fund the building.

In addition, the budget does not include any new employees for the Hill-Finklea Detention Center. On May 13, Sheriff Wayne DeWitt asked council to consider adding 14 correctional officers at the overcrowded center, in order to open the unoccupied second floor.

“In this budget, there are no folks for the detention center,” Davis said. “That request was made of council and so that will probably be discussed at a workshop.”

The council will have workshops before final approval of the budget, which starts July 1.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or