The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance

The Watch


Property Tax

Property taxes are a burden for all property owners, and not only in Charleston. The burden was rising strongly at the turn of the century and there were reports of owners being forced to to sell property. The actual tax rate varied within the County but in the CIty of Charleston, anecdotal evidence suggested it equated from 0.5% to 1% of the estimated market value the property. The State government was moved by the pleas of property owners and took over the burden of financing education. It did this by increasing the sales tax. Most homeowners saw their tax bills cut by 50% beginning in 2007.

January 30, 2009

County Council, January 29
Deadline for decision on County incinerator
Obligation of applicants for Board and Commission positions to be redefined

Warwick Jones

“And Council member McKeown can pay for the hire of the College of Charleston’s stadium!” Council member Rawl jokingly quipped at the close of last night’s meeting of the Finance Committee. He was of course alluding to the large number of citizens expected to attend the Finance Committee meeting on March 12 when the consultant to the County is scheduled to present its report on the options available for future waste disposal. The date is critical as the County has to give notice to the operator of the County incinerator as to whether its contract will be extended.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2007

County Council, March 15
Tax burden to be cut further for property owners?
But millage increase possible this year
Warwick Jones

Homeowners in South Carolina are already set for a break on property taxes. They could have another within a few years. Last year, the State voted to introduce a 1% sales tax, beginning June 1, to fund education spending. The sales tax replaces that part of the annual property tax levied by the County and allocated for education. However, the property tax burden was removed only for owner-occupied dwellings. Commercial and rental properties would continue to be taxed as in the past.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 29, 2006

City Council November 28
No millage increase for 2007
Drainage, affordable housing, and lack of sporting facilities
Marc Knapp

Council members got their first glimpse of the 20007 budget last night. Glimpse is the right word. Members had before them only a Power Point print-out. The full document was given out only after the Mayor had completed his speech. And despite the fact that the Mayor asked that questions be delayed until the next Council meeting, questions were asked. So much for the half hour allocated for the budget's introduction

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 19, 2006

Tax Forum Falls Short
Panelists hold essentially the same views
Shawn Keller

Last night, the League of Women Voters sponsored a forum at the College of Charleston to address property tax reform in the State. While each speaker did raise interesting points on the subject, I left the event with two significant observations. First, the panel was composed of four people who held, more or less, the same position - we should maintain our current tax system. The League should have provided a panel with a more diversified set of opinions instead of he same opinion four times over. If its intent was to provide an open analysis of the differing perspectives on property tax reform, then it failed. If the intent was present the opinion of those for the status quo and against reform, then it succeeded

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:10 PM

September 28, 2005

City Council Meeting September 27
Flooding, fees, disaster preparedness and property taxes
Marc Knapp

The discussion started with an update on the City's drainage projects. It ended with a call for more urgency in alleviating flooding in the City, an appeal for Federal Funds, consideration of higher drainage fees, and a request of the Mayor to update Council on the City's disaster preparedness.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 07:28 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2005

County Council Meeting April 28
Could the new sales tax restrain property tax increases
Plan for Conservation Bank to be sent to G AB for consideration
Warwick Jones, standing in for Shawn Keller who is on military duty in Iraq

It really wasn't on the Finance Committee agenda but it came up in discussion on the Fiscal year 2006 budget. Council member Scott suggested that consideration be given to shifting funding on some public works to the soon-to-be-collected half cent sales tax. He suggested that perhaps $4 million could be shifted but subsequent discussion suggested that even more might be possible. Property taxes amount to about $55 million for the County so the notional reduction on shifting $4 million would be about 8%.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2004

County Council Public Hearing - July 8
Half-cent Sales Tax Increase and Property Tax Cap
Warning on wording of the referendum
Warwick Jones, standing in for Shawn Keller who is on military duty

There was little new ground covered in the public hearings before the Charleston County Council on the ½ cent sales tax increase and the property tax cap. About half a dozen persons spoke on the sales tax referendum proposed by the county and all were in favor expect Mr. Joey Douan. Mr. Douan was responsible for initiating the successful action to undo the results of the last referendum. His speech was probably the most interesting, He stated that the governor had mandated that the wording in the referendum proposed for November be essentially that of the first. Yet, he noted, there were substantial differences.betwen the two. These he feared would be sufficient for another suit after the next referendum. We could be back here in 2 years confronting the same issues, he warned. Mr. Douan did not speak against the imposition of the tax and indeed stated that the county needed a public bus system. Considering his past opposition to the tax, it may be too much to read into this a newfound support for CARTA. He also expressed surprise that the County had not formed a citizens committee to help guide the county in implementing the sales tax or allocating the proceeds.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:18 PM

June 18, 2004

County Finance Committee Jun 17.
No surprises with Sales Tax and CARTA Budget approved. Reassessment cap decision deferred
We speak with Howard Chapman of CARTA
Warwick Jones, standing in for Shawn Keller who is on military duty

With the CARTA 2005 budget, the Sales Tax referendum and the Reassessment cap on the Committee's agenda, we were prepared for an interesting meeting. Considering the TV crews present, others were obviously expecting some excitement. Well, it all was a bit of a yawn. The CARTA budget was accepted without discussion, so was the Sales Tax referendum. And a decision on the Reassessment cap was deferred.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:45 PM

May 27, 2004

More and more taxes!

Submitted by Joe Lolli, 7867 Russell Street Drive, Edisto Island

The P&C's editorial on May 20,2004 reports that our local Charleston County School Board is contemplating following Greenville County's lead in plotting to violate our state's 8% debt cap. The paper's editorial suggests they follow the law and finance their $200 million bond over 25 years, which includes refinancing their existing $128 million construction bonds and funding the "surprise" $61 million short-fall. According to the editorial, if they did this in accordance with the law, the tax increase to a $100,000 homeowner would be $112 each year.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:07 PM