Property Assessment Bill Fails In Senate

June 06, 2008

By Mike Cherney and Zane Wilson – The Sun News

Horry County officials said they were relieved Thursday when a bill that could cost local governments $31 million by changing property reassessments died in the state Senate as the legislative session came to a close.

Three senators had blocked the bill, but the House made a last-minute attempt to pass it by attaching it to a Senate bill dealing with property taxes. The Senate never got to the bill Thursday before the session ended, killing the measure.

The county had estimated it could lose $7 million, and the school district could have lost $21 million if the bill had been approved.

Conway, North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach could have lost more than $1 million each.

Horry County, because of its active real estate market, would have been the most heavily affected by the proposed law change.

Statewide, the loss to local governments was estimated at $44 million.

The change, sought by the real estate and development industry, would let newly-bought property keep its existing tax valuation. The 2006 property tax relief law required property to be reassessed at its market value if it changed hands.

Supporters of the bill said the market value rule was stifling real estate sales, especially large commercial deals.

County officials said drastic cuts would have been needed to slash $7 million from the $136 million operating budget proposed for fiscal year 2009, which runs from July through June.

Options included eliminating an annual cost-of-living pay adjustment for county employees, firing 20 county workers, cutting funding for The Coast Regional Transportation Authority and staggering the hiring of new employees to staff an expansion at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.




There is so much more to this story. As Nick said in the article, the bill was just a temporary fix. Unfortunately, the whole situation is going to continue to get worse before it gets better. Lenders need to be very well versed on the effects that this will have on property values. Call me if I can help.
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