Positive Meeting of County and State Leaders

Sister station WGOG reports that a rare meeting between Oconee County leaders and state lawmakers representing the area produced positive dialogue. Friday morning’s meeting of the Oconee County Council, State Senator Thomas Alexander, Representative Bill Sandifer and Representative Bill Whitmire featured issues of common interest as well as spotlighted some of the funding issues that have created disagreement.  The meeting started with a forecast by the senator and two representatives as to the level of state financial aid to the county, especially to help pay for services provided by offices created by state statutes. Oconee County Administrator Scott Moulder said the assessor, the coroner, 911, and the detention center are examples. However, the lawmakers say the state’s financial condition remains difficult, and Senator Alexander suggested that, for budget planning, the county anticipate no more allocation of funds than that which was approved for the current year. Future tax revenues to the county paid by business could be lower if the state reduces the ratio on which business is taxed. However, both Alexander and Sandifer said, there should be corresponding benefits because businesses should view Oconee County and other South Carolina counties as more attractive to invest in and create jobs.