County Council to address millage error

Bamberg County Council members discussed procedures to address an error that occurred last year in the amount of taxes collected in the county’s Capital Needs and Equipment Replacement Fund at their September 27, meeting.

The fund, assessed at 12mills for facilities and equipment needs for Bamberg County as shown on the Fiscal Year 2010/2011 Bamberg County Revenues and Funds to meet Expenditures Sheet was actually collected last year at 8.6 mills which represents a shortfall of 3.4 mills or $75,000 in taxes uncollected.

“We must have a procedure in place to verify tax notices before they go out," Councilman St. Clair P. Guess III said. “Is there a procedural change in place?” Guess asked. “We’re all on one page now,” County Administrator Rose Dobson-Elliott said. The county administrator noted that the error may have occurred during the change from Booker Patrick to Thomas M. Thomas coming in as finance director. She noted that Thomas sent a letter to the auditor advising her of the error.

Councilman Guess stated that going forward the finance director’s office needed to have a sign-off sheet and the printers draft of tax notices need to be sign-off on before tax notices go out to the citizens.

Also during the meeting:

• Council members approved on first and second reading a proposed ordinance to amend the Bamberg County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance so citizens of the county can continue to buy flood insurance. The flood ordinance was approved to make corrections for FEMA and DNR to reflect the new map date of 7/29/10.

• Council members approved the appointment of Councilmember Chris Wilson to Chair the Bamberg County Capital One Cent Committee. It was noted that Ehrhardt, Olar, Govan and Denmark needed representatives. Bamberg City Council member Bo Griffin has been appointed to the committee.

• Bamberg County Council members approved a resolution recognizing the late Betty Milhouse for being the first female Assistant Coroner of Bamberg County.