It’s almost time Lake Wylie says goodbye to a few dozen residents. It’s been an eventful couple hundred years, but it’s time to go home.
Residents may think it a new state boundary, but experts say it’s only clarified. By either name, the line separating the Carolinas is changing Jan. 1. The South Carolina legislature passed a bill June 2 recognizing the new line. Final plats in York County for properties impacted by the change will be recorded “in the next couple of months,” said tax assessor Rob Weaver.
“The boundary line was originally surveyed in the 1700s,” he said. “Several years ago, the boundary line was re-surveyed using modern technology, and several discrepancies were found.”
A boundary commission notified property owners who would see all or part of their land switch states. Plats are being recorded with county deed registries so they can be mapped and valued.
For York County, the reworked line is a net loss. All or part of 26 properties are leaving, at a tax value loss of more than $21,000. Only nine are coming, at less than $4,500.
York County will lose 11 Lake Wylie properties at a combined $7,008 tax loss to Gaston County. They include two homes and a barn on Willow Pond Road, two homes on Fewell Road, a gas station on S.C. 274, a mobile home on Stateline Road and two each on Woodscape and Sentinal Oaks drives.
“York County will lose the entire house to Gaston County,” Weaver said.
Another eight properties are impacted, too. They include a home each on Catawba Cove, Willow Pond, Fewell, Anne Neely and Whitworth roads, a retail store on S.C. 274 and two mobile homes on Sentinal Oak. The combined loss is $2,622 in tax value.
“York County will lose part of the property to Gaston County,” Weaver said.
The same story comes from Mecklenburg County. Five homes at an estimated $10,039 tax value are leaving York County. The four homes and a pool house sit on Caroland Drive, Hamilton Road and Whispering Oaks Lane.
“York County will lose the entire house to Mecklenburg County,” Weaver said.
Part of two more properties, both Whispering Oaks homes, are headed to Mecklenburg at a tax value of $1,415.
The boundary line isn’t all loss. Part of eight properties are heading to South Carolina from Gaston.
“York County will gain a portion from Gaston County,” Weaver said. “The estimated tax gain is around $2,600.”
Those properties include houses on Wilson Farm, Ferguson Ridge, Crawford, Windsong Forest and Lloyd White roads, a farm on Twisted Oak Lane, and a mobile home and garage on Patrick Road.
York County also gets a portion of one property on Lahaina Lane from Mecklenburg at a tax gain of $1,911.
York County Councilman Bruce Henderson said there are “a lot of unhappy people” as changes loom.
“They’ve been tossing this back and forth for many, many years,” Henderson said. “Why now, I don’t understand.”
Residents spoke out at past public meetings wanting to stay in South Carolina. For commercial properties, there are tax law and other differences between the states that will impact bottom lines.
“I’m just very concerned about those businesses and I guess there’s not much that we can do at this point,” Henderson said.
Bill Shanahan, county manager, said the line change is a done deal.
“They basically told us that this is state law now,” he said. “It has been approved by both sides, North and South Carolina.”
State officials have worked in recent years on a variety of grandfather clauses for impacted residents. They impact issues from school district attendance and in-state college tuition to street addresses and tax rates.
Impacted property owners will need to apply for legal residence and farm-use tax reductions, and property tax exemptions. They aren’t liable for taxes related to switching states.
“Historically your house has been taxed in York County, and now your house is taxed in North Carolina,” Weaver gave as example. “You can’t ask York County government for a refund, nor can York County tax property owners for prior years.”
Anyone whose change results in a tax value increase of at least $1,000 to any county received a letter detailing the change. York County has a 15 percent cap when revaluing a property. It will be waved for incoming properties, until the next county revaluation.
“Properties located in York County will not be subject to the 15 percent valuation cap, however, when our county implements the next reassessment scheduled for 2020, these properties will be subject to the 15 percent valuation cap,” Weaver said.
Property owners will have 90 days to appeal county tax values. They will receive their first tax bills in October 2017.
John Marks: 803-831-8166
Need more info?
Property owners looking for more information on the state line change can contact Weaver at 803-628-3980. They also can call Matt Wellslager in South Carolina at 803-896-7700 or Gary Thompson in North Carolina at 919-948-7844.