Tag: Home Rule

County Adds to Flames in Treasurer Lawsuit

Horry County Government threw more gasoline on the fire it has created with the Horry County Treasurer’s Office with a new filing in court Friday on the Treasurer lawsuit filed by Angie Jones.

The new filing is an amended answer and amended counterclaims associated with the original lawsuit against Horry County Government and Administrator Chris Eldridge, which was filed in November 2017.

One of the new complaints by Horry County is that Jones has refused to provide detailed information about her budget request for the next fiscal year to the Horry County Assistant Administrator Justin Powell.

The counterclaim states, “The Horry County budgeting process is handled by Horry County Council and administered by the Horry County Administrator.”

An email from Jones to Powell states, “I will deal directly with council in regards to my budget needs …”

From the above two quotes, it would appear that Jones is adhering to the provisions in state law. She is a countywide elected official elected by the people to run the Treasurer’s Office. The administrator is appointed by Horry County Council to administrate policies decided by vote of council for the departments that council has control over.

A South Carolina Attorney General’s Opinion dated October 26, 2007 states, “With reference to budgetary matters, while it’s true that the council exercises totally the budgetary authority of a county and can decrease, increase, or otherwise alter appropriations for county offices, nevertheless, it cannot so decrease the appropriations of an elected official’s office so as to prevent the proper functioning thereof.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

Local Governments Asking General Assembly to Obey the Law

Counties and municipalities throughout South Carolina are again asking the General Assembly to obey state law with respect to the local government fund in the state’s general fund budget.

State law Section 6-27-30 requires the General Assembly to put 4.5% of the previous year’s base general fund revenue into the local government fund in the upcoming fiscal year budget.

But, the General Assembly has not fully funded the local government fund since 2008 – in violation of state law.

State Law Could Mandate Tax Increase

A state law that forces rollbacks of millage in reassessment years, so local governments do not benefit from rising property values, appears to mandate a tax increase if property values fall.

That is the conundrum facing Horry County Council as it begins its fall budget retreat today.

A June 2011 opinion from the office of the S.C. Attorney General notes in its conclusion that state law, specifically sections 12-37-251 and 6-1-320, was enacted to protect taxpayers by rolling back millage when property values rise due to reassessment.

Voters Need Complete Home Rule

The election mess in Richland County is another example of why Home Rule should be totally implemented throughout the state of South Carolina.

We know combining Home Rule and South Carolina in the same sentence is an oxymoron, but we’ll give it a try anyway.

Back in the days before the Supreme Court issued its “one man, one vote” ruling, one senator was elected from each of the state’s 46 counties. For all intents and purposes, the senator was county government, ruling in almost a feudal manner.