Charleston, North Charleston Rank Among Top 5 Cities in American Prosperity

RentCafe, an online apartment service, examined how areas with at least 100,000 people fared between 2000 and 2016 in the categories of education, home values, income, population, poverty and unemployment. While Odessa, Texas, took top honors, Charleston was ranked No. 3 and North Charleston rounded out the top five (Columbia placed 75th out of 303). Charleston was one of 11 cities that improved across all six categories during the time frame, while North Charleston saw its home values increase 59%.

Keurig Coffee to Open $3.5M Facility Near Spartanburg, Create 500 Jobs

Keurig Green Mountain will build a $3.5 million state-of-the-art roasting and packaging facility for its single-serve K-Cup pods in Spartanburg County that is expected to create 500 jobs. Warehousing and beverage distribution could also be in the future for the site in the Tyger River Industrial Park in Moore. The Coordinating Council for Economic Development is helping with a $3.85 million grant to Spartanburg County for infrastructure improvements and has approved job development credits.

Consultants: Lack of Wastewater Infrastructure is Why Greenville Co. Trails in Luring Industry

As Anderson and Spartanburg Counties rack up announcements for construction on new industrial developments, a Greenville County Councilman pointed to a lack of wastewater service as to why that part of the Upstate is trailing its neighbors. Lynn Ballard represents 167 square miles of Greenville County where flat, open land is plentiful yet has no sewers. While Spartanburg has a high degree of cooperation among businesses, public-private development recruiters, county leaders and utility providers, Greenville County’s sewer operators are separate from economic business developers, and that means construction of new lines – which can cost up to $1 million per mile – often only comes when there is a need.

Charleston County School Board Approves More Property Taxes for Teacher Raises

Charleston County teachers will be on pace to be working in South Carolina’s highest-paying school district by 2020 after the county school board voted 7-2 to approve property tax increases for its general operating budget. The 2018-19 school year budget has a $32.3 million spending boost over the previous year. This will be achieved by raising property taxes by the maximum amount allowed under state law: $3.56 onto the current bill for a $15,000 vehicle and $23.76 onto the bill for a $100,000 commercial property. Because the state law Act 388 exempts homeowners from taxes for school operating expenses, an additional set of tax increases will pay down district debt: $1.80 onto the bill for a $15,000 vehicle; $12 onto the bill for a $100,000 commercial property; and $24 onto the bill for a $300,000 homeowner-occupied residential property.

Aiken Bank Manager Sentenced 27 Months in Prison for $600,000 Embezzlement

A branch manager of Regions Bank in Aiken pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $600,000 and was sentenced by a federal judge to serve 27 months in prison on the charges of embezzlement by a bank officer and filing false tax returns. Carrie B. Caldwell, 40, used the money to pay for travel and to buy a boat and other luxury items, according to prosecutors, and evaded detection by stealing from “dormant accounts.” The IRS investigated the case with Aiken Police and the Secret Service, and it was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney T. DeWayne Pearson of the Columbia office.