Higher tax bills prompt work session in Spartanburg Co.

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SPARTANBURG Co., SC (WSPA) – Spartanburg county leaders want property owners to have a better idea of why they’re seeing higher tax bills.

County council held a work session Monday to give an overview of the taxation process. 

“I felt that there were a lot of ideas out there that were not factual, that a lot of citizens felt like the county is over-taxing them,” Spartanburg County Councilman Bob Walker said. “I think education was more of the whole point. I hope this opens the way for us to be responsive to people.”

County Assessor Earl Alexander, County Auditor Sharon West, County Treasurer Oren Brady, County Tax Collector Bobby Metts, and County Administrator Cole Alverson spoke at Monday’s meeting. 

Each shared what role their office plays in the taxation process. 

“The county portion of their bill didn’t go up,” Brady said. “The misleading thing is when John Q Public looks at their tax bill and it says ‘Spartanburg County, South Carolina’ and they think that’s Spartanburg County but if they look at the tax bill it shows exactly where your tax dollars are going. If there’s anything to do with the collection of property taxes or how the rate was determined, they need to call the county auditor’s office or the county treasurer’s office.”

County leaders said recent property reappraisals – mandated by South Carolina every five years – also factored into the tax bills.  

“They’ve got to understand that when you look at that statement that that’s for all county entities that’s being taxed,” said Walker. “We saw the average for the education in that total tax bill was 70-75 percent, the county is 10-15 percent, fire department’s 10-15, and the others. So it’s just not easy.”

Walker said the meeting was an aim to alleviate anyone’s confusion. 

“Make sure we’re doing the best we can so that our taxpayers – the people out there that’s paying those taxes understand that they’re being treated fairly and according to the law,” said Walker. 

County leaders encouarge property owners to contact council members or people in the various departments if they have questions about their tax bills. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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