In a poll asking voters if they would increase their property taxes to pay for school improvements, the majority of particpants have said they would vote against a Dorchester County School District Two proposed referendum in the fall.
The April 17-19 poll surveyed 400 respondents, of whom 43 percent labeled themselves Republicans, 24 percent labeled themselves Democrats and 32 percent labeled themselves Independents. Charleston Trident Association of Realtors sponsored the poll.
Half of respondents were asked to respond to a lower millage rate increase of $72 per $100,000 and the other half were asked to respond to a higher millage rate increase of $152 per $100,000. In the lower increase, 57 percent of respondents said they would vote against it or lean toward voting against it. In the higher increase, 62 percent of respondents said they would vote against it or lean toward voting against it.
Dorchester Two has proposed a referendum, but estimates it would cost an additional $84 per $100,000 for an owner-occupied home paying the county's 4 percent rate (non-owner occupied homes at 6 percent would pay $126 per $100,000). The proposed referendum wasn't set until after the polling took place, nearly a month before hand.
According to Dorchester County Auditor J.J. Messervy, an owner-occupied home in the limits of Summerville currently pays $685.20 per $100,000, adjusted with property tax relief but not including fees. A non-owner-occupied home in town pays $2,095.20 per $100,000, adjusted with property tax relief but not including fees.
Of the 400 voters responding, 81 percent said they would rate the school district as only fair to excellent. Only 7 percent said it was "poor."
Here are some other statistics on those polled:
- 18 percent of respondents were over the age of 64
- 58 percent were college graduates
- 92 percent own the home they live in
- 94 percent answered they were "almost certain" to vote in the fall