South Strand voters to decide future of Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District

South Strand voters will decide the future of their fire service next month.

In a March 17 referendum, residents of the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District will be asked if the district’s taxing capacity should be increased by 4 mills. That means the maximum property tax hike would be $37.20 on an owner-occupied home worth $232,500 (the median value in the area), according to the district’s calculations.

But supporters say that’s a small price tag compared to the hundreds or thousands more per year that residents could pay if the fire service deteriorates and insurance premiums rise.

“People realize it’s a good deal to be able to save on their insurance rates,” said Al Hitchcock, who chairs the fire district’s board. “What we’re asking is not unreasonable.”