2 Hardeeville council members owe property taxes

Two Hardeeville city council members up for re-election in May have not paid their 2013 property taxes, according to Jasper County records.

Councilwoman Sherry Carroll owes nearly $3,800, and councilman Sal Arzillo owes more than $2,060, according to online tax records. Carroll owes nearly $507 in penalties for missing three tax deadlines, the last of which passed March 17, the records indicate; Arzillo owes about $286 in penalties.

Mayor Bronco Bostick, whose term does not end until 2016, also filed his property taxes late, paying nearly $110 in penalties, according to the records.

Attempts Tuesday to reach Carroll and Bostick were unsuccessful.

Arzillo said he plans to pay during the summer and does not mind accumulating extra fees.

"I always paid my taxes in June, July, August," he said. "I pay with interest. A lot of interest."

Arzillo declined to comment further. Both he and Carroll have paid the tax late since being elected to City Council in 2010.

Arzillo paid $1,261 in penalties from the tax years 2010 to 2012. The previous two years, he paid in October.

Carroll paid $1,645 in penalties on her 2012 and 2011 taxes. Bostick, elected mayor in 2008, has paid about $1,135 in penalties since then.

The issue was raised at a Feb. 6 city council meeting by Carolyn Kassel, one of the three people challenging Carroll and Arzillo for their seats. The Hampton Pointe resident commented the city would not be able to meet its budgetary expenses if citizens did not pay taxes when they were due.

Hardeeville's Town Council includes four members and a mayor, all elected at large in nonpartisan elections. The top two vote-getters in May's election will earn seats.

Reached Saturday, Kassel said elected officials should lead by example out of respect for the citizens who voted for them.

"They don't care as long as they pay their taxes at some point during the year," she said. "I'm not sure that's the way the system was designed to run."

Candidate David Spisso declined to comment Sunday. Attempts to reach the third challenger, Justin Patel, were unsuccessful.

Arzillo has also been a subject of an ongoing investigation by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division. The inquiry includes whether a police officer used unnecessary force in November and whether Arzillo interfered with a police operation and then retaliated against the former Police Chief Richard Nagy, who resigned a month ago.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

Related content:

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  • Former Hardeeville chief says SLED investigating possible retaliation, March 5, 2014: http://bit.ly/1kQHrbi
  • Hardeeville city attorney resigns after dispute with mayor Bronco Bostick, June 20, 2013: http://bit.ly/1dycgfK