Sea Pines property owners worried they could be taxed to dredge creeks and marinas inside the gated community need worry no longer, according to local legislators.
Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed a bill Monday that would allow local governments to pay for projects like dredging by assessing property owners within a special tax district without their permission. Haley said it gives governments "the ability to tax more homeowners who have not given their consent."
"The governor is for doing what it takes to dredge the Harbour Town Yacht basin, but she is not for allowing local governments to hike people's property taxes without their consent," Haley spokesman Rob Godrey said Wednesday. "If the General Assembly sends her a clean bill that expands the use of sales tax dollars to include dredging, she'll sign it."
The bill also would have allowed dredging to be paid for by counties through a local-option sales tax, subject to voter approval. But even if her veto is overridden, the carefully worded bill targeting Horry County still would not affect Sea Pines, legislators say.
What's more, dredging interests within Sea Pines say they weren't counting on legislation to help them, anyway.
A representative of the South Island Dredging Association, comprised of boat-slip owners and Sea Pines residents, said Wednesday the group plans to pay for dredging on its own.