Vote for Indian Land incorporation approaching, debate intensifies

INDIAN LAND, SC (WBTV) - The long-awaited vote to decide whether or not Indian Land should become its own town is fast approaching. The idea purposed in 2015 will either be carried out or denied come March 27, when voters head to the polls.

Driving through Indian Land, you can't miss the signs posted along 521 urging you to either vote yes or no for the incorporation. A spokesperson for those for incorporating Indian Land Matt McCusker says about 100 of the 'vote yes' signs were recently stolen.

"They would steal one of our signs and then put a 'vote no' sign in its place, so they literally were leaving a signature calling card saying we stole this and we're going to steal another one," McCusker said. "That's not politics, that's what happens in banana republics."

Many who are against or questioning the incorporation of Indian Land say they are afraid of taxes going up. Councilman Brian Carnes says if incorporated, citizens in Indian Land would have to pay town taxes, as well as county taxes.

"I think it is worrisome because they don't really know what the taxes will be, there is a budget that the group has put out, but it's a nonbinding budget," Carnes said.

However, McCusker says there won't be more taxes because revenue generated from Indian Land will stay in Indian Land, unlike now. Indian Land generates the majority of tax revenue for the county.

"Essentially we are funding not only the county, but we also subsidize the budgets for the city of Kershaw, the city of Lancaster, the city of Van Wyke," McCusker said. "Since we are technically the cash cows of the county when we become a town millions of dollars will stay here."

Other concerns include how Indian Land could support its own fire and police departments.

"The current talk has been contracting with the sheriff's office, to maintain services and add additional services, because the sheriff's office isn't set up to provide municipal services," Carnes said.

Meanwhile, McCusker says schools and traffic would become less crowded and congested, since and incorporation would have its own town council to control growth.

"We are at capacity, we need to allow our infrastructure to catch up, the county has expressed no interest in controlling that growth," McCusker said.

For more information on those in support of incorporation, click here.

Some of those against the incorporation are part of the Facebook page here.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.