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City Council adopts resolution putting Greenville County on notice

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, January 30, 2014

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City Councilman Jay Arrowood's (District 1) displeasure with Greenville County levying a recreation tax on Greer taxpayers set the tone for City Council to pursue a legal opinion.

City Councilman Jay Arrowood's (District 1) displeasure with Greenville County levying a recreation tax on Greer taxpayers set the tone for City Council to pursue a legal opinion.



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City Councilman Wryley Bettis (District 5) delivered a salvo directed at County Council in an Op-Ed to GreerToday.com. His passionate stand against Greenville County Council's maneuvering helped produce a motion seeking legal recourse.
 
 

City Councilman Wryley Bettis (District 5) delivered a salvo directed at County Council in an Op-Ed to GreerToday.com. His passionate stand against Greenville County Council's maneuvering helped produce a motion seeking legal recourse.

 

 

City Council has put on its gloves and has taken a swipe at Greenville County Council.

A carefully worded resolution, similar to one approved by Greenville City Council in late December, citing state statute (S.C Code 4-90-30) was unanimously passed Tuesday night at Greer’s regular scheduled city council meeting, declaring the city’s legal right to challenge Greenville County’s millage levied for Greer recreation and parks services.

That set in motion a potential legal showdown between the entities of the cities of Greer and Greenville and Greenville County.

City Administrator Ed Driggers said it was “prudent” for Greer to follow Greenville’s lead. “This allows us to give notice to Greenville County that we are not relinquishing our rights if these talks are not successful.” Driggers said discussions are ongoing with County recreation representatives for the short and long-range goals to be achieved by the new county tax.

Greer, since 1973 annually funded its own recreation department void of Greenville County funding, the resolution states. Greenville County Council, working through its county delegation, steered legislation (Act 20) last year dissolving the Greenville County Recreation District as a special tax district.

Fittingly, the two city council members, Wryley Bettis and Jay Underwood, who set in motion the city’s response to Greenville County’s resolution, passed by a 9-2 vote on June 18 last year, accepting the recreation district’s assets and liabilities and dissolving the Greenville County Recreation District, made the motion and second, respectively, Tuesday night. Mayor Rick Danner and councilwoman Kimberly Bookert, who voted no to the earlier measure, sided with the majority Tuesday.

Bettis has written an Op-Ed stating the need for cities to be granted more control of its tax dollars.

Greer thus declared its intent to challenge or consent to County Council offering a plan satisfactory to City Council stating the use of funds accumulated from the new county tax.

County Council levied a 4.7 mils tax that has already resulted in an undesignated $20 increase for taxes for Greer taxpayers in Greenville County.  However, Greenville County residents outside of Greer were designated a $10 decrease.

The resolution stated the tax notices listed the millage as a tax for the GCRD had been listed as a “county tax” and it was not levied on properties inside the boundaries of Greer.

Mauldin and Simpsonville were also enveloped by Greenville County’s recreation division. Travelers Rest and Fountain were already covered by the GCRD.

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