Upstate Towns Lose Thousands In Taxpayer Money Over Late Audits -

Upstate Towns Lose Thousands In Taxpayer Money Over Late Audits

By Gordon Dill

It’s taxpayer money and the state is withholding it from several Upstate towns.  In one, it’s costing every man, woman and child almost $600.


It’s caused tens of thousands of dollars to vanish from city budgets because some aren’t following state rules when they collect, track, and spend the money they collect in court.


It’s money from something like a speeding ticket.  If you pay it at a municipal court, your town splits that money with the state of South Carolina.  In some cases, smaller towns aren’t keeping up with the books and not following through with required audits.


The small town of Iva, in Anderson County, doesn’t collect taxes.  It’s fewer than 200 citizens get every penny of local revenue from a part time, off-duty, deputy who enforces the speed limit on Highway 81 in the middle of town. But because they’re late on auditing that money, they’re losing cash from the state.


In Iva, the city is losing even more.  A typical traffic ticket here is about $183 dollars.  But that town is also tardy with required audits and the state is withholding $15,390.58 in government funding since October of last year.


Since April of 2011, the state treasurer has withheld $6,509.99 from Starr.


 “We are licensed to hold all state funds and we can hold a percentage of it, so that's what we do. We try to put them back on the right path with accountability and transparency," said South Carolina treasurer Curtis Loftis.

Iva still hasn’t done an audit from the 2011 fiscal year.  The town treasurer said they’re close to getting it done.


Starr hasn’t filed one for 2009 or 2010.  A town councilman said they are in the process of finishing that paperwork.


“I think it's a good law.  What it does is allow the treasurer’s office to be involved in making sure that accountability and transparency is across the board," Loftis said.


Other Upstate towns are losing even more.  Cross Hill, in Laurens County, has lost $92,804.52 since February of 2011.


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