Voters resist higher taxes for parks

One of the possible recreation improvements being considered in Mount Pleasant is at the town’s Waterfront Park.

MOUNT PLEASANT — Town voters here rejected a proposal to pay higher property taxes in exchange for more parks and recreation.

The town’s sole ballot question narrowly failed by a 52-48 percent margin, according to unofficial results.

The proposed tax increase would have added about $80 to the bill on a $400,000 home and about $20 to the bill on a $10,000 car, beginning next year.

Town voters turned back the referendum in the same wave of voting that also rejected all three Town Council incumbents.

The ballot question listed five possible uses for the money, including buying new park land and open space, creating a second senior center on the town’s northern end, creating a new community arts center, and making recreation-related improvements in Carolina Park and at the town’s Memorial Waterfront Park.

Last month, Town Council received a report on $14 million worth of potential upgrades to its popular Memorial Waterfront Park — from adding a new pier extension to reworking its bait and tackle shop to improving the parking area north of Harry Hallman Boulevard.

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It will now be up to Mayor Linda Page and a new Town Council to figure out how else to finance improvements to the town’s recreation and parks — or to keep the status quo.

There was very little organized campaigning either for or against the ballot question, but some arts and senior groups pressed for its passage.

Reach Robert Behre at (843) 937-5771 or at twitter.com/RobertFBehre.

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