Confusing Borders Leave Homeowner With Taxes In Two Counties - WSPA.com

Confusing Borders Leave Homeowner With Taxes In Two Counties

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The exact boundaries of each county are spelled out in state law. One of Union Counties borders is "a dead Spanish oak on the north bank of the Enoree river." The exact boundaries of each county are spelled out in state law. One of Union Counties borders is "a dead Spanish oak on the north bank of the Enoree river."
COWPENS, S.C. -

The exact boundaries of each county are spelled out in state law. One of Union Counties borders is "a dead Spanish oak on the north bank of the Enoree river."

For some, that old language may conflict with more modern computer maps compiled by the state of South Carolina.  Page Lee, her family tied to property near Cowpens, could pay thousands in extra property taxes each year depending on who is drawing that line.

Until last year Lee's home was permitted for, built in, and taxed by Cherokee County.  Last year, in 2012, she got a tax bill from that county for $4,300.00.  For the first time, she also got one from Spartanburg County for $7.478.00.

"I was not happy," Lee said.

Spartanburg County Assessor Earl Alexander says his office gets regular tips from citizens about homes with untaxed improvements or those which may be taxed in the wrong county.  He said that's what happened with Lee.    

"As it turns out the portion that is in Spartanburg County is where the house is," Alexander said.

The County relies on state GIS maps.  Lee said the lines differ from the actual law, which in many cases dates back centuries.

For the property near her home, separating Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties it says, "Hammet School House is in the old county (Spartanburg)" and "property owned by Miss Mary Brown in the new county (Cherokee)"/

That line could be well to the west of the boundary drawn by the state but to get real answers Lee may have to pay for her own survey and her case may end up in court.  She's already hired an attorney.

Here are the complete list of state boundaries.

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