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$1 million collected by Horry County impact fees since launching in October

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 11:11 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Growth paying for growth: impact fees have started to leave their mark on the Horry County budget.

Horry County Council approved impact fees in July. Since they took effect in October, they’ve totaled up to $1 million so far.

“We enacted the minimum impact fees we could do,” said Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught. “We wanted to test the water, see how it worked.”

Essentially, developers are charged when they build a new home or business, and in turn, include that on the sale price to the new home or business owner.

Vaught said the million dollars they’ve collected so far is about what they expected. Under the current structure, that can help pay for public safety, parks and waste management projects.

Vaught also explained that the new year has brought a new need for those impact fees.

“One of the things we’re having to make up for is the loss of the ability to collect the road maintenance fee due to a supreme court case,” he said.

Vaught says not having a road maintenance fee could cost the county around $17 million per year, highlighting the need for some more money earmarked for transportation needs such as roads, lights and intersections.

Now that they’ve tested the water, Vaught hopes they’ll be ready to dive a little deeper.

“We feel like the people that should pay for this, and the improvements required to support them, are the people that are using them,” he said.

Vaught says the county is in the middle of studying impact fees at the moment.

They should be able to take that information to determine what sectors they may need to add, like transportation or stormwater.

They’ll have that soon to make the decision sometime this summer, probably around June, so it’s in place for the new fiscal year to start in July.

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