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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Summary of December 2016 Pickens County Council Meeting ...

Our contention is that the County Council is over collecting money and by 12-43-285 they are not entitled to keep the money and it should be credited to the taxpayers or paid back to them the year following.

Last night, I read them an email from Senator Martin that told me that this over collection should be fixed. I have appeared before the school board, the county council, and even the Pickens County Delegation every year to make my complaint. I have discussed this problem with every political subdivision -namely the Pickens County Sheriff, SLED, the Solicitor, the Governor of this State (Sanford), and the Attorney General. They all passed the buck back to me by advising me to sue with my money.

I contend that the Pickens County School Board and the County Council are violating the State Constitution laws 11-3 and 10-5. 

11-3 makes the State responsible for funding all of education, kindergarten through grade 12.

Article 10-5 requires the taxing authority to tell the people exactly what the money is to be spent on. 

Outgoing Easley Concilwoman, Jennifer Willis claimed that if they didn't spend the money like they told the people, that money was earned by the County Council and they could spend it on anything they pleased. They do this by putting it in the General Account slush fund; maybe a CAFR fund. 

The funds requested by Tri County Tech are supposed to be furnished by the State under Article 11 section 3 and the 8% allowance rule for borrowing against all of the appraised value of county property. The school board has already borrowed all that money.

Now that we have all that out of the way, it is very simple. If a mill is supposed to bring in $460,000 as determined by the Auditor for this years budget and it actually brings in $475,000 you have over collected $15,000 per mill. Say the budget is for 68 mills: then 68 mills x $15,000 = $1,020,000. Then if you say that you only have 98% collectability on a budget of $32,300,000 and you actually collect at least 100% then $32,300,000 x(100%-98%) = $646,000. So just these two items have yielded $1,666,000 and there are at least three more ways to add to this total - especially during reassessment. These figures are very close to ones that exist for certain County Council budget years and over the years have netted the County Council near $45 million dollars and the School Board $100 million dollars.

As you can see, this type of "penciling in" has been pushed upon the folks of Pickens County over the years. I have given my best to keep you informed. There is absolutely no regard for the Constitution at the County Level. The State should have been sued for failure to fund our schools and there are a half dozen ways that the State has underfunded our county. If we don't wake up, some well meaning council members are going to spend us into poverty.

Junius Smith
President. COTU

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