Formation of a Special Tax District in Horry and Georgetown Counties
What is a Special Tax District?
Special Tax Districts are formed and governed under strict compliance with South Carolina Code §4-9-30(5). A special tax district is a form of a governing body with certain powers specifically enumerated in the petition and the final ordinance. Special tax districts are formed to assess property and levy ad valorem property taxes in certain areas at a different rate than the rest of the county to provide certain services (if not generally provided by the government) such as for general public works including, roads, drainage, street lighting, water treatment and distribution, sewage collection and/or justice administration, as well as correctional institutions, public health, social services, transportation, planning, economic development, recreation and public safety.
Is a special tax district the right avenue for you?
Are you a property owner in a subdivision or neighborhood where the roads are neither maintained by the government entity or the homeowners’ association? Do you need street lights where the voluntary homeowners’ association cannot afford same? Do you and other neighbors feel that the streets may be safer if you had police cars patrolling the area and speed bumps in place on the roads to slow down fast traffic? If you answered yes to any of the above concerns or have similar concerns for your neighborhood, you may want to consider looking into forming a special tax district. You will first want to get a general idea of how many other homeowners in your area have similar concerns and how much money you can all set aside to pay for the costs and fees of forming same. If your proposed special tax district passes all the stages, each property owner in the vicinity will be taxed based on the millage rate, yearly budget and the assessed value of their property compared to others in the proposed parameters.
Why do you need an attorney if you have the South Carolina Statute to follow?
You might think to yourself that you can just as easily follow the code and form a special tax district; however, the code itself does not address all of the complications. You will need someone who has connections with the county assessor’s office, the county counsel and a title abstractor who can help located a map/plat of the proposed area for the special tax district. Here at DesChamps Law Firm, Mr. DesChamps (Bill) helped create some of the first special tax districts in the county such as the one in Mt. Gilead and Arcadian Shores. He also helped created the Hidden Woods Special Tax District. The DesChamps Law Firm is one of only a few firms in Horry County with expertise in the formation of special tax districts so please call them today if you need to get some guidance on whether a special tax district is the right choice for your concerns.