Greenville County Council passes vote requirement change

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – It will now be easier to get resolutions passed through Greenville County Council, including raising taxes.

Council voted Tuesday evening to change a more than a decade old ordinance that required nine votes before taxes were increased to a requirement of seven.

A handful a residents spoke before council opposing the new vote requirement.

“The people of Greenville County have spoken,” said Willis Meadows, the vice chairman of Greenville County Council. “I don’t feel like the council, we didn’t listen.”

Council voted 7 to 4 to repeal the vote requirement ordinance.

“Nobody likes tax increases, and don’t do them unless we have to, so this was one of those things that was done out of necessity, not out of a want,” said Councilman Ennis Fant, District 25.

The vote came after council passed a bill raising taxes for both road maintenance and an emergency communications system but didn’t have the county deemed nine votes to do so. State law only requires seven votes.

“This council, you will never get nine people to vote for anything,” Fant said.

Most of council agrees this is a needed step. However, the four against, who are also part of the current lawsuit facing county council, say it was political.

“They felt that it [roads fee] couldn’t pass with nine votes, so that’s why they bobtailed it to the communications bill,” Meadows said.

Meadows says he’s saddened by the vote.

“This just opens the door for more taxing and spending,” Meadows said.

The two separate bills for the communication system and the roads will be the first tax bills council votes on with the new seven majority rule.

Councilman Fant says both the roads and communications bills should be back in front of council at the beginning of May.

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