Berkeley County Property Tax Reassessment Notices Sent; Dorchester to Follow

Property tax bills changes are arriving outside Charleston’s metro area. Reassessment notices for land and buildings have been sent to owners of more than 107,000 Berkeley County properties and about 75,000 property owners Dorchester County can expect their notifications as soon as the end of July. Charleston County’s reassessments are due in 2020, as state law requires counties to update property tax values every five years. Thanks to 2007’s statewide property tax restructuring of Act 388, local governments are required to lower their tax rates when reassessment makes property taxes rise, and there is a 15% cap on how much a property’s taxable value can inflate in cases where there has not been a change in the home’s ownership. Property owners are permitted to file an appeal if they feel there is a discrepancy with the assessment.

Richland County Seems to be Walking Away from Penny Tax Partnership Team’s Work Plan Adjustments

A spokesman for the partnership of private companies that manage Richland County’s $1 billion penny tax program offered a plan to the Richland County Council that eliminates $19.5 million in projects from the council’s list of road improvements that is facing a $154 million funding shortfall, but that plan was met Tuesday with a reaction that the council will likely move forward with its own plan. The contract between the county and the Program Development Team ends Nov. 2, whereupon Richland’s transportation program will take over management of the projects that have been in the works since voters approved a referendum in 2012.

Upstate SC Alliance Welcomes Representatives from International Business Communities

The Upstate SC Alliance recently brought to Greenville 17 representatives from 13 countries so local businesses could better learn how to do business with international firms. “This was the first time we’ve had a group this large here,” said Upstate SC Alliance president and CEO John Lummus. “Normally we have to go to Atlanta for this kind of gathering. This time we brought them here.” Delegates included the consul generals of Belgium and Switzerland, the deputy consul general to Japan, honorary consuls to Austria, Hungary and Sweden, the senior policy trade adviser of the British Consulate General, and the director of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. According to the Upstate SC Alliance, more than 500 international companies operate in the Upstate, including Adidas, BMW, Bosch, Fujifilm, Michelin, Toray and ZF, and that across the state there are 131,900 South Carolinians – 7% of the state’s private industry workers – employed by foreign-affiliated companies.

Fill ‘Er Up: 23% of Port of Charleston’ Record Fiscal Year Traffic was Empty Containers

There wasn’t much to see in 501,010 of the cargo boxes that passed through the Port of Charleston since its fiscal year began in July. That’s how many containers were empty, representing nearly 23% of the port’s traffic a 36.1% annual rise over the number of empty containers in a year when monthly cargo records were broken eight times. Exports have dropped 3% on the year, but loaded container imports have risen by almost 10% over that time as China’s businesses race to get shipments to Charleston in advance of anticipated tariffs from the White House. The State Ports Authority receives the same payment no matter how much cargo is in each container.

IRS: 2 Million ITINs Set to Expire in 2019

With nearly 2 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers set to expire at the end of 2019, the IRS urges affected taxpayers who expect to file a tax return in 2020 to submit their renewal applications to avoid refund delays. ITINs – 9-digit numbers used by people who have tax filing or payment obligations under U.S. law but are not eligible for a Social Security number – that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the past three years will expire Dec. 31, 2019. That’s also when ITINs with middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 that have not already been renewed will expire.

Report: Early Retirees Can Find Haven in and Around Greenville

Greenville was deemed South Carolina’s representative for “50 Great Places for Early Retirement in the U.S.” Kiplinger examined areas with high populations of residents ages 45-64 (in Greenville, that’s 26.3% of the population) that had favorable tax situations and low costs of living (Greenville’s is 2.6% below the average for retired cost of living). The report also points people toward nearby Anderson, where the median home value is $123,200, compared to Greenville’s $255,600.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:

“One of those (sidewalks) could be the way someone goes from their home to a COMET bus stop.”

Allison Terracio, Richland County Councilwoman, on planned cuts by the Richland County penny tax’s Project Development Team to save $10 million by dropping improvements to six greenway projects