UPDATE: Voters in the Boiling Springs and New Prospect Fire Districts voted overwhelmingly against tax referendums.
Boiling Springs FD Referendum:
Yes – 150
No – 520
New Prospect FD Referendum:
Yes – 90
No – 182
Spartanburg County says only 4.76% of eligible registered voters participated in the referendum.
SPARTANBURG CO., SC (WSPA) – Residents in Boiling Springs and New Prospect Fire Districts go to the polls Tuesday to consider referendums to raise taxes.
If passed, homes in Boiling Springs valued at $100,000 would see pay another $52 in taxes. A similar home in New Prospect would pay $44 more.
Both communities are a part of Spartanburg County, but county tax increases do not cover these expenses.
Boiling Springs and New Prospect have not seen a tax increase since the 1990’s.
For Carrie Johansen, voting is a right and her responsibility. She wants to set an example for her daughters.
“I have four girls and I want each of them to know how important it is to take part in our voting process and to know that we have been given the right to make decisions about our government,” Johansen says.
“Our funding does not come through county council, it does not come through state legislature, it’s a separate line item on your tax bill and it comes directly from our community,” says Boiling Springs Fire Chief Scott Miller.
Keeping up with growth and maintaining personnel is what this vote is all about.
While current expenses are covered, volunteers now becoming hard to find and adding new hires is just not in the budget.
“The goal is to hire more people, it’s not to hire 20 or 30 more people it’s simply to put 3 people on each shift to staff that truck,” says Chief Miller.
It’s a dilemma voters like Johansen face.
“Fire department is very vital to our community, but at the same time I always have a hard time voting to raise taxes so I put a lot of thought into what i was going to do today.”
Each vote reflects a voice, so it’s important to hear from those affected by this increase.
“Pass or fail tomorrow the fire truck will still respond and it will still be there and we will still provide service to the community,” says Chief Miller.
“We’ll still have a shortage on the back side and we’ll have to depend on other people to help fill the gaps for us.”