Polls open in Indian Land as residents expect to vote on incorporating area

INDIAN LAND, SC (WBTV) - Residents of Indian Land will head to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether or not the area should become its own town or remain part of the county

The long-awaited vote has been a highly debated topic for more than two years and voters will let their opinions be heard on Tuesday.

Many who are against or questioning the incorporation of Indian Land say they are afraid of taxes going up. In February, Councilman Brian Carnes says if incorporated, citizens in Indian Land would have to pay both town and 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, Matt McCusker, who is a spokesperson for those in favor of incorporating Indian Land, said the move won't lead to more taxes because revenue generated from Indian Land will stay in the area instead of going to Lancaster County.

According to McCusker, 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. Carnes says the sheriff's department isn't set up to provide municipal services.

"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.

There are 11 polling places in Indian Land that are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.

For more information on those in support of incorporation, click here. You can find more information for those who are against the incorporation here.

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