West Pelzer approves budget, considers tax anticipation note


By Stan Welch

The West Pelzer Town Council will hold a special called meeting on Wednesday June 11, to address issues left unsettled from their regular June meeting.

Those issues include first reading approval of the proposed budget for the coming year, as well as considering the issuance of a tax anticipation note (TAN),a device used to manage a governmental body’s cash flow during the course of a year.

The town, in this instance, would issue the TAN, borrowing a percentage of its anticipated tax revenue to help it through the customary revenue drought that comes during the middle to latter part of the budget year. The device is one sometimes employed by political entities who tend to collect the bulk of their revenues at one time, then have to stretch them over the term of the fiscal year.

Margaret McGee, an attorney for Pope Zeigler, LLC law firm, will be on hand to explain the intricacies of the method, and to answer questions from the Council. During a discussion of the matter at the regular June meeting, Councilman Jimmy Jeanes said that he would like to see some costs cut in addition to the TAN, which McGee stressed does NOT raise taxes currently, but addresses a timing issue in the flow of revenues.

At that meeting, McGee told the Council that the core issue is not just the cash flow, which the TAN addresses, but insufficient revenues; which have left the town with no viable reserves to address such matters, as well as any emergencies that might arise. She added that the Council would have to address the revenue problem, if they want to avoid issuing TANs as a matter of course in the coming years.

Mayor Paxton acknowledged at that time that the town has the lowest tax rate of any municipality in the county. No one on the Council or the staff could recall the last tax increase the town has experienced.

The question of the budget is likely to be a contentious one, given Councilman Jeanes’ claim that he thinks thirty to forty thousand dollars can be cut from the budget. Several versions of the proposed budget are under consideration. Some include increases in the fees charged by the water department, and offer raises for employees, while others do not.

The meeting is scheduled for three o’clock in the afternoon, at the Town Hall.