December 10, 2009
Meeting at 6:30 PM @ 769 Belle Shoals Rd Pickens, SC 29671
"Pickens County received a significant chunk of stimulus money for Medicaid ...part of this money was used to expand the medicaid offices in Pickens. When the state doesn't receive this money next year AND the stimulus money has to be paid back ... what will our state do?" The audience member continued ... "I can give you a partial solution. My wife works in social services. A significant portion of those that apply in her office are illegal immigrants with children born in this country. The children receive benefits. There is also a significant state investment in Spanish/English translators called "Habla". If this problem were rectified along with commerce amongst illegals taxed and licensed properly ... our state (and nation) could save a HUGE amount of money."
South Carolina's property tax revisions of 2006 were set up to benefit homeowners and those who own the same property for many years, but those same changes resulted in big tax increases for anyone who bought property starting in 2007.
"I recognize the conundrum we've gotten ourselves into with local governments,"
said Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens.
[His] proposal is the basis for pending Senate legislation.
"My counsel back to them is that this is not an attack on their revenue stream but an attempt to keep South Carolina poised for growth."
The current laws took effect following overwhelming voter approval of a 2006 constitutional referendum.
The changes eliminated most school taxes on owner-occupied homes, raised the statewide sales tax by 20% in an attempt to make up for that lost revenue, and capped increases in the taxable value of any property that hadn't been sold or substantially improved to 15% every five years.
"A lot of property in South Carolina is bought as an investment, not as a home," Martin said.
"I heard the loudest complaints about point-of-sale out of the Charleston area in the spring of 2007, shortly after the law became effective."
In South Carolina, all properties are reassessed about every five years, as they were before the laws changed, but now a property's taxable value can only rise by 15% during a general reassessment. A 15% increase over five years is historically a modest rise, around the average rate of inflation, so the county-wide reassessments now have a limited impact on tax bills.
There already have been several versions of the proposed changes, which began earlier this year when the House passed bill 3272. The latest version of the bill was approved by the Senate Finance Committee, and would put a 15% cap on point-of-sale reassessments.
The Senate is expected to take up the potential property tax law changes in January.
"I am absolutely committed to this country because of my 8 children, potential 30 grandchildren and my great grandchildren."
"A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.
A depression is when you lose your job.
A recovery is when Obama loses his job."
" I pledge to drink only bottled water while in Washington because there seems to be something in the water up there."