Group says tax hike would help with school overcrowding

Berkeley County schools hosted a career fair in March 2011. (file photo)

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- A local group is taking aim at overcrowding in Berkeley County schools and is pushing for a tax hike to combat the problem.

Supporters of the group called, 'Yes for Schools,' is arguing in favor of a referendum worth $198 million aimed at building five new schools and renovating 29 existing buildings. The money would significantly lessen the problem of overcrowding in Berkeley County.

If the referendum passes, one high school and one middle school would be built on Clements Ferry Road to serve the Cainhoy and Daniel Island area.{} Three separate elementary schools would be built at Tanner Plantation, Foxbank Plantation, and near the Sheep Island Interchange.

Schools which would undergo major renovations include: Goose Creek High, Stratford High, Cross High, Timberland High, and Marrington Middle School.

For homeowners who own a $100,000 home, the property tax increase would be approximately $40 annually.{} For commercial buildings or small businesses valued at a million dollars, the increase would be about $600 annually.Voters will vote on the referendum on November 6, 2012, during the general election.To educate the public on the referendum a series of meetings have been planned throughout Berkeley County.{} The next one is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Highland Park Baptist Church in Hanahan.