Special Tax Districts are formed and governed under strict compliance with S.C. 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 services 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.
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 to install them? Do you and other neighbors feel that the streets may be safer if you had police cars patrolling the area or speed bumps in place on the roads to slow fast-moving 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 the formation a Special Tax District. If you are interested in 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 all can set aside to pay for the costs and fees of forming a Special Tax District. 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.
You might think to yourself that you can just as easily follow the statutory code and form a Special Tax District without the assistance of an attorney. However, the applicable statutory code itself does not address all of the complications. You will need someone to assist you who is familiar with and has worked with the county assessor’s office and the county counsel. You will also need a title abstractor who can help locate a map/plat of the proposed area for the Special Tax District. Here at DesChamps Law Firm, our Managing Attorney and Founder, Bill DesChamps, helped create some of the first Special Tax Districts in Horry County, such as the Mt. Gilead and Arcadian Shores Special Tax Distincts. 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 guidance on whether a Special Tax District is the right choice for your concerns.