Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Property Assessment Cap

Today, the Senate will pass legislation freezing property reassessment at the point of sale. This goes a long way to providing the relief that property owners across South Carolina are demanding. While the legislation does not go as far as I and others might have wanted (for instance it includes an annual inflation factor of up to 3%), taxpayer advocates did score one additional victory yesterday. Before we talk about a swap, lets cap assessments.
The legislation allows for voters, by county, to decide if they prefer to move to the point of sale reassessment or stay with the status quo of reassessment every five years. Moreover, the legislation would allow voters to reverse their decision five years down the road by another ballot initiative.
Senator Greg Ryberg, and his brilliant staff, caught a sentence in the bill that would have allowed county councils to reverse the will of the voters simply by passing an ordinance to do so, whether the voters wanted it or not. Ryberg fought for an amendment that would allow county councils to pass such an ordinance but would allow it to take effect ONLY upon ratification by the voters.
I had asked a question about this in committee and was glad to vote for the amendment to ensure that voters will always control the method by which their property is reassessed.
Another victory for the folks who put the taxpayers first.