GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A potential tax increase for Greenville County residents is getting some pushback. It would be the first tax hike in around 30 years.

There was a heated discussion at Tuesday night’s budget meeting. Possible amendments to the budget were brought up, but the majority failed when it came time to vote.

The meeting had every single seat filled and a line that extended to the hallway. The Greenville County Council voted to move forward with the proposed budget for the next two years. They broke the budgets into two, one for 2023-2024 and 2024-2025.

After the second reading passed, residents are looking at a tax increase for the first time in about three decades.

“I do not want a tax increase, we’re a growing economy,” said Councilman Stan Tzouvelekas. “We do have some amendments in place that will hopefully reduce the millage increase and look, it’s not about bad or good, it’s about we don’t have the money.”

Many were less concerned with the tax hike than with the ideas on how to avoid it. Like reducing funds for Greenville and the Human Relations Commission.

“These amendments are foul, how do you just eradicate the Human Relations Commission and put everybody out of work on July 1st?” said Dr. Ennis Fant, on Greenville County Council.

Councilman Steve Shaw proposed to reduce funding for the Commission.

“We shave off $25,000. It’s a $300,000, a year, agency. So, $25,000,” he said.

He also proposed freezing county positions and making the animal shelter revenue neutral, those amendments failed, as well.

Other amendments included giving veterans first priority over other residents when it comes to affordable housing. Council said they could not make that decision without research and a legal opinion.

Some council members fought back.

“This just shows to me that this is just politics, you’re not concerned about doing what’s right. We’re playing politics,” said Councilman Chris Harrison.

The one amendment that was agreed on is reducing the tax increase from $11 million to $7 million for 2024 and keeping it at $7 million for 2025.

There will be a third, and final, reading later this month or this summer.