Letter to the editor: Sumter residents can't afford another increase in taxes


We the people of Sumter County voted down the penny tax (aka 1% additional sales tax). Why? Because we are sick and tired of paying for multiple HOPE Centers, playgrounds, swimming pools, golf courses, etc.

It is suggested by city and county council that there is a $700,000 deficit. Is it a deficit or wasteful spending?

Many are struggling to put food on the table during a time in which food has doubled in price. Shouldn't the budget be revamped? Remove anything that is not considered a necessity? I believe the budget should be re-done versus raising taxes on our property. We simply cannot afford yet another increase in property taxes. It was just raised this past year. They raise our property taxes every five years. Yeah, I get it, based on value. But are the taxpayers seeing an increase that high in their paychecks?

I also think it is time to consider eliminating pension plans for government employees. The private sector has long since done this, as they could not afford it. Those of us in the private sector who do not have pension plans continue to pay for others to have pensions. Somehow that just doesn't seem right. We are offered 403B, 401k plans or nothing at all. This means we are funding our own retirement with little gain from interest. The last company I worked for even eliminated any matching for the 401k.

Next, I received my auto and homeowner insurance with a whopping increase in premiums. I was told by USAA that the S.C. Insurance Commission had approved a 20% increase for South Carolinians. Who on this board did this to us?

While most of us in the private sector are not receiving 20-50% raises or even 2%, these local and state agencies have complete control over us. Too easy to give themselves raises and spend other people's money.

I implore city and county council to take the time to review their budget. Remove unnecessary items to then balance the budget with the revenue they have. What did you do prior to the implementation of that penny tax?