Updtate:  Beaufort County will raise the millage, click here for more information

Beaufort County is considering raising the millage for 2nd homes, investments and commercial properties. Their resident neighbors pay far less in tax and the increase could take the second home millage rate up another 2 mills. Currently, the only source Beaufort County has to increase revenues for school operations is to raise the tax millage on commercial and non-resident property owners.

Hilton Head ~ Second Home owners need to make a call

Before June 25th, out of state owners, investors and commercial owners should contact their U.S. Congressman or Senator about how they are being discriminated for being an out-of-state property owner.  Heck, they don’t even have kids in the local schools, but have to pay more than the locals.  Beaufort County is considered a wealthy county and our taxes are being sent to other schools except ours where these taxes are raised.  This just does not make sense.

Hilton Head 2nd Home, commercial and investors Take a Stand

Letters from Concerned Citizens

Citizen #1 I would be hope your Board of Realtors would lead the pack in stopping this proposed tax increase .I would be hopeful the Chamber would follow Between this tax increase and the Town picking up all future land to stop future devlopment and take the property off the tax rolls I think Beaufort County would create a policy that would put the real estate market in a strong downward spiral.The is only a certain level that can be passed on and I think it has reached that level.With these increases and the $100.00 per month tax on water for rental homes you are creating an impossible situation.I would think the Management Companies would also want to be involved. While we were there earlier this month I noted there were pages of foreclosurers in The Packet. I know from a personal point we are considering taking our home off the rental market or selling and going to another area..If this sort of taxation continues I think the Town will killing a golden goose.If the Town does not get into a more responsible position to manage the resources they have without continuing to raise taxes we will not see the Island we have all enjoyed over the years.

Citizen #2 We purchased a second home in Hilton Head from the previous owner who paid $1,576 in annual real estate taxes. Understanding that they were over age 65 and entitled to a partial exclusion, and resident rate, we expected our taxes to go up to approx. $4,600. What a shock when our bill came in at $8,500. We learned that nonresidents don’t get school tax credits. So the question is why are nonresident property tax owners taxed so much more for school taxes when we don’t even utilize the schools? We know residents that own properties worth 3 times more than our property, and pay one third of what we are billed.

Citizen #3 Gentlemen,  As a longtime second homeowner and real estate investor I urge you to reconsider your yes votes for this important matter. I’m sure you are aware that we are already taxed at a far greater rate than local residents. Not to mention all of the add on taxes and fees when a property is sold. Consider if this trend continues many of the investor owned properties could end up owned by those local residents who will not only pay far less tax than the investors and will have little need for all the affiliated services most of us utilize on regular basis. Again an investor owned property generates far for income for the area than local residents.

Citizen #4  We are absolutely against any increase and feel residents and investors/non-residents should be taxed equally.  The taxing system as it is now set up is unfair and unreasonable.

We are from Ohio and have owned investment properties on HHI since the late ’80s.  Two of our children were life guards.  Only when we first purchased has there been a positive cash flow.  Our objective was to buy and sell until we were able to find a home to become our permanent residence.  We have done just that and at this time plan to relocate in a couple of years.  This tax increase initiative is causing us pause to reconsider.

For several years now, my wife and I have discouraged our friends from purchasing property on the Island.  That doesn’t sound right does it?  Well, it is a fact.  The reason is the discriminatory high taxation without representation for “outsiders!”

Not only is discriminating against the “outsiders” by assessing higher taxes an inequity to us, but it indirectly hurts the locals who have the “easier ride.”  Suggest the real estate market is not recovering as quickly as other locations for this very reason.  We have several friends who have found other fine locations to live which are much less expensive and tax much more fairly.

You will no doubt be hearing many reasons not to increase this levy.  Here’s one reason that should be given serious concern.  Money is in short supply for more and more of us.  Higher taxes means less funds are available to do the extras to maintain our properties.  High taxes will force owners to cut back on the nice-to-have improvements which will result in an overall degradation impacting the appearance and desirability of being on the Island.

My background is 16 years the political arena so I know personally how difficult it is to cut back and balance a budget with many employees.  Unions become more reasonable when reality sets in.  Raising taxes in this economy is counter productive, not today’s trend, simply just not the right step!

We urge the decision makers to do what all government entities have to do.  That is to find better ways to cut expenditures, not burden a few to disproportionally pay for services like schools that do not benefit them directly.  Equal taxation is OK.

We just found out about the tax increase being considered.  It is too late to plan a trip and be there to speak our views.  Please vote “no” for any increase + reconsider the merits of the current inequitable taxes.