During the Public Forum, I presented the School Board with the information that SC law 12-43-285 prevents them from spending the over-collection of $789,000 in money obtained during the first three months of this fiscal year. I emphasized that it was not against the law to collect the money by mistake, but was against the law to keep the money.
The school board is on target to over-collect $3.2 million this year. I told them of 5 ways that over-collection could occur: by under-estimating the value of a mill, by putting the protested taxes in the delinquent tax fund and not immediately counting them, giving the board more room to increase their budget, by under-estimating the value of a mill right after reassessment, by setting collectibility at less than 100% when all taxes are either collected or the property is sold and the actual figure is probably 103% or more due to penalties and fees.
Board Trustee, Phillip Bowers retorted that he wished people would stop beating up the school board when the County Auditor was responsible. Alex Saitta re-explained all these law breaking procedures to the Board who had no intention of following the law. Henry Wilson castigated anyone other than the Board as being part of a fringe, loud, trouble making group, and that he was not going to even listen to their talk anymore, but was going to concentrate on the 95% in the middle. I have no idea where he got his figures, but we had 2100 signatures on our last petition and 352 members of The Conservatives of the Upstate and the whole of the Pickens County Taxpayers Association in agreement with the majority of positions taken by COTU. Also, I do not know where Dr. Wilson studied statistics but 95% covers more than two standard deviations on each side of the middle. In tougher words he was shooting a pie in the sky with his remarks.
The Board was informed that Tri County Tech was asking for $6.5 million and that every government entity wanted more money and that they needed to stop. The Board went into executive session and voted for rich people in education to get $80,000 and $50,000 for good measure. Pickens County Schools has spent tens of millions on the Career Center and is doing the original mission of The Tech schools in training people for the trades and to work in industry. Tri County Tech has morphed into a junior college for Clemson and a way that students at Clemson have a way of avoiding incompetent and unfair professors.
Junius Smith informed the Board that they did not own most of the Construction Bonds and could not own them because of the 8% rule in the constitution. The money that they accrue from the refinance has to go to SCAGO who owns the bonds.
President, Conservatives of the Upstate.
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