Budgets, schools, taxes, districts: From the Beaufort County council retreat (updated)

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Beaufort's "Castle" has been for sale off and on and its price has struggled along with the county's overall property values.

The Beaufort County Council convened for their annual retreat March 3-5 and discussed a smattering of key issues.

(Updated March 6 with more sources.)

WSAV 3 has a nice video report that gives an overview (watch that here) and other actors have more granular reports on each day, get connected to those below.

Day three, redistricting and school budgets: After continued chaffing between the school district's requests for funding increases the council wants to find a more permanent solution.

Also discussed was how to redistrict to allow for minority representation on council.

Read this packet story for the rundown.

Day two, budget woes, business friendly: The all-to-familiar topic of budget funds was once again brought up, as was a desire to make the county more business friendly

For the budget matters, discussed were how the county can trim budgets, privatize services, and increase revenue. The Island Packet has a report that you can read here.

On the business friendly nature, the Lowcountry Economic Network and its controversial commerce park were a matter of big debate. Bluffton Today has a nice report from that angle that you can read here.

Day one, property tax rates: The first day addressed concerns over falling property values and how they will affect next year's property tax rates, which are due for reassessment next year.

According to a report from March 4's edition of the Island Packet, the county's combined property values, which were believed to total around $45 billion dollars in 2007, have decreased to $37 billion in 2011. The losses could result in a tax increase for properties valued between $200,000 and $400,000 to more evenly share the "tax burden" caused by the decreases, the report later said.

Head over here to read the Packet's report on the issue.

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