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vicupstate

Taylors' Incorporation could be immenient

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vicupstate    220

Greenville County could get a new municipality:

Taylors, Greer battle for tax revenue

Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2005 - 9:12 pm

By Nan Lundeen

STAFF WRITER

[email protected]

TAYLORS — The hamburger war is heating up.

Taylors and Greer have been battling over new businesses, one being a planned Fuddruckers on Wade Hampton Boulevard near Suber Road.

Taylors, which is a sewer and fire district, not a city, and Greer, which is a city, both want the revenue that streams in from the new-business boom on Wade Hampton.

Taylors lost the first skirmish two years ago when Greer annexed the $30 million Target-anchored shopping center on Wade Hampton away from Taylors, and a challenge by Taylors residents was thrown out of court.

But Taylors came back for a second round — more than double the number of residents necessary signed a petition to incorporate Taylors as a city. The paperwork is done and papers could be filed soon with the Secretary of State's office, said James Sizemore, a member of the incorporation committee.

Meanwhile, Greer is on the march.

The city is working every day toward annexing property from Taylors along West Wade Hampton, according to Greer City Administrator Ed Driggers.

He has his eye on legislation passed by the state Senate and now in the House that would require newly minted cities to provide a minimum of police and three services, such as fire, sewer, planning or garbage pickup.

"When a city forms, it should form for the purpose of providing certain services, not just to keep somebody else out," Driggers said.

The bill originated out of a long-standing dispute between James Island and Charleston.

Driggers fears Taylors could beat the bill — the new city could be a done deal before the law is passed and goes into effect.

Jean Dixon, who chairs the Taylors Sewer and Fire District Commission, isn't worried about the proposed law.

She figures Taylors has police protection covered by contracting with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Shea Smith said, "We have been contacted by Taylors and when we're approached with a proposal, then we'll certainly consider that."

Taylors already provides fire and sewer services — the new city would follow that district's boundaries.

Dixon said the "Town of Taylors" could establish a department to review subdivision plans.

At present Taylors people sit in on subdivision advisory committee meetings, but the county does planning and engineering reviews, said Pat Webb, subdivision administrator for Greenville County.

Sizemore figures the new city could stay small. He thinks the city could bring in enough new revenue to give taxpayers a break.

"There is a possibility of a good bit of income coming into the city of Taylors, and they could put it to good use for the residents of Taylors," Sizemore said.

"It's possible there would be a decrease in taxes," he said.

Taylors residents pay 50 mills to finance their fire and sewer district. On a $100,000 house, that's $200.

Theresa Odom moved to Taylors 38 years ago when it was still country. She's not thrilled about it becoming a city "because anything that's a city is going to raise the taxes some."

But, she's not eager to see Greer head her way — she lives not far off Wade Hampton and Taylors' Main Street.

"If it comes down to making a choice, I'd really rather it be Taylors," Odom said.

Nan Lundeen can be reached at 298-4316

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Skyliner    37

This is great! Did you hear of any initial population numbers? :)

I think this should have been done long ago, before Greer started grabbing up the land in the Taylors area. <_<

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vicupstate    220

Under CURRENT state law, a city must have at least 15,000 population in order to incorporate unless it is more than 5 miles from an existing city/town. Otherwise, the proposed city must first petion for annexation and be denied it.

I think this is bad government in the making. Greenville or Greer should be allowed to annex Taylors. These people are probably paying nearly as much in taxes as Greer charges anyway.

Greer could become the laregst city in the GSA metro area if it continue to extend it's limits.

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Spartan    682

Greer could become the laregst city in the GSA metro area if it continue to extend it's limits.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Somehow I am doubting that :) Greer could probably cath up to Anderson fairly soon (maybe by the next census), but Spartanburg would be much harder. Greenville has such a large population that I can't see it catching up.

According to the latest Census estimates the City of Greenville's population is increasing. Spartanburg's is decreasing slightly, but I see that changing by the next census. Anderson is also dropping but I don't know enough about that to say anything constructive.

Does anyone know what the definition of a city and a town are? I thought it was solely based on population, but I this Taylors thing is throwing me off.

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btoy    20

This is great!  Did you hear of any initial population numbers? :)

I think this should have been done long ago, before Greer started grabbing up the land in the Taylors area. <_<

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In defense of Greer, they for the most part only annex properties that request annexation. Why would they request it? Becuase it is required for sewar access from Greer CPW.

BUt, Greer does plan to try to start filling in some of the empty space. Two if the big hols in greer will never be annexed, BMW and the Airport, the Verne Smith Parkway was bbuilt as a sort of bribe to get Greer to stop trying to annex them.

On a side note that map of bounderies is out of date, Greer's city limits goes much farther north than is shows, the annex Lake Robinson and Lake Cunningham areas when then agreeded to provide sewer for the 1100 home Blue Ridge Plantation at Lake Robinson.

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Spartan    682

I think it would cause alot of public resistance from outside Greer if they tried to annex BMW. They already have lot of benefits from having the facility near the town.

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Why won't Greenville annex some of this stuff? We have a city population of only 56,000 but a urban area of 302,000! Greenville is basically a 300k+ size city, but won't annex anything. Look how small the city limit boundaries are.

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Spartan    682

That is SC's strict annexation laws. It requires "coercing" people to petition for annexation. Most of SC's cities are in a similar situation. Spartanburg, for example, has about 39k in the city, but its UA is 145,000. It makes no sense to me. All of our cities are underrepresented because of this IMO.

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That is SC's strict annexation laws. It requires "coercing" people to petition for annexation. Most of SC's cities are in a similar situation. Spartanburg, for example, has about 39k in the city, but its UA is 145,000. It makes no sense to me. All of our cities are underrepresented because of this IMO.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's right. My hometown is another example of being underepresented because of unincorporated areas W. Ashley, on James Island, and even Johns Island. Usually, the areas near and around the city limits all over this state are developed before the cities have a chance to annex the area. What allows for this are redundant bureaucracies such as public service districts. Its basically getting city services, without living in a city. Go figure! :wacko:

From looking at Spartan's map, I have to say that Greer should annex the Taylors area, due to its proximity. It would be better to have the primary city, Greenville, annex it, but they would have to jump over unannexed land to do that. I didn't realize that Taylors was NOT a town. I had always thought it was. If that's the case, there should NOT be a redundant and unnecessary bureaucracy when its in between 2 entities that could better serve the area. Is there any way to add the option for people who don't want to form another town to be annexed into Greer?

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Spartan    682

The problem is that Taylors is a special distric within the county already. It has all the basic services in place and do not rely on Greer for functionality at all. THe only thing it appears to be lacking is an actual government. There would be more of an effort to do unite than split up between Greer and Greenville.

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btoy    20

Why won't Greenville annex some of this stuff? We have a city population of only 56,000 but a urban area of 302,000! Greenville is basically a 300k+ size city, but won't annex anything. Look how small the city limit boundaries are.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

To annex land it must already touch city limits, though there can be some games to get this to happen like for Blue Ridge Plantation I think they annexed the rivers and lakes to get to it and for North Hampton Market I think they counted the sewer line as a city limit but I may be wrong but if you look it up on the tax parcel viewr that city limit is a squiggly line going down HWY 29.

Greenville is not anywhere close enough to annexing the area in Taylors that Greer has been annexing.

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The problem is that Taylors is a special distric within the county already. It has all the basic services in place and do not rely on Greer for functionality at all. THe only thing it appears to be lacking is an actual government. There would be more of an effort to do unite than split up between Greer and Greenville.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ahh...I see. That is a problem if Taylors has sewage, trash, police and fire. Who takes care of other things that an actual government does such as zoning? The county? It really doesn't make sense to have all those services and basically no central government to control them. Is that the case? I guess the county takes care of control?

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Spartan    682

Well, understand that some of the services like police are county services, but it would be easy enough to write up a conctract to keep it like it is.

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vicupstate    220

Twice the number of required residents means that it would be a town of at least 24,000 - 30,000. I thought I read that they changed the minimum to 12,000, but I could be mistaken.

The petitions have TWICE the required number of signatures. I don't know for sure what the requirement is, but I think it is 15%. If that's correct, then 30% of the affected residents have signed the PETITION.

I think the requirement is 15,000 people. A recent 12,000 reference in regards to James Island, was mistaken I believe.

Taylors PSD provides only Sewer and Fire. In order to incorporate under CURRENT law, there are no services requirements. Under the new law working it's way through the legislature, police and three other services would be required. However, the contractual agreement with the county may be sufficient to meet the police requirement. Taylors would probably add Zoning as it's third service.

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vicupstate    220

Somehow I am doubting that :) Greer could probably cath up to Anderson fairly soon (maybe by the next census), but Spartanburg would be much harder. Greenville has such a large population that I can't see it catching up.

According to the latest Census estimates the City of Greenville's population is increasing. Spartanburg's is decreasing slightly, but I see that changing by the next census. Anderson is also dropping but I don't know enough about that to say anything constructive.

Does anyone know what the definition of a city and a town are? I thought it was solely based on population, but I this Taylors thing is throwing me off.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It would take probably 25 years or more for Greer to become the largest city in the GSA metro area, but that isn't that long. Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg have all lost population over that last few decades. Census estimates are often wrong, sometimes way off.

Greer has a significant amount of undeveloped land that will develope over the next decade. If Greer continued to annex outlying areas, it could surpass Anderson and Spartanburg before too long. Passing Greenville would take longer but could happen as well. Mount Pleasant went from about 17,000 to 50,000 in about 30 years. Greer could do the same, but not if Taylors incorporates.

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Spartan    682

Taylors PSD provides only Sewer and Fire.  In order to incorporate under CURRENT law, there are no services requirements.  Under the new law working it's way through the legislature, police and three other services would be required.  However, the contractual agreement with the county may be sufficient to meet the police requirement.  Taylors would probably add Zoning as it's third service.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I checked back and you are right. I like that part of the new legislation. I don't like that it drops the population requirement to 7,000 though.

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vicupstate    220

Taylor's incorporation proceeding.

The mayor of Greer is supportive. Taylors would be 16 square miles, which is similiar in size to Anderson and Florence. Apparently the supporters are trying to incorporate under existing law rather than the proposed changes working it's way through the legislature.

I am shocked that the mayor of Greer is supportive. He may be doing this to make Greer look less threatening though. Sort of reverse psychology.

If Taylors is successful. I expect it could lead to similiar efforts in Berea or elsewhere. If both Berea and Taylors were to incorporate, it is doubtful that Greenville would ever reach 100,000 population, even with a relaxation in annexation laws. The upstate would be a vast collection of medium and small size cities, without a dominant large city. That would not be a good thing IMO.

Article on Taylor's incorporation

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btoy    20

My opinion is that part of the reason Greer is supportive is that the realize that much of taylor's will never be able to be incorporated by them anyways. Greer incorporates by giving sewer and Taylors has its own sewer. Even with out Taylors incorporating I would doubt Greer would grow much farther West. Greer's Growth is going to mostly happen to the North and much will also come from the South and some from the east.

Greer is so close to my home now. But, it will never be in Greer because Greer wont cross the Enoree on my side of town. Different sewer system on that side of the river. I do think Greer has crossed the Enoree farther south of Brushy Creek though.

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Taylor's incorporation proceeding.

The mayor of Greer is supportive.  Taylors would be 16 square miles, which is similiar in size to Anderson and Florence.  Apparently the supporters are trying to incorporate under existing law rather than the proposed changes working it's way through the legislature.

I am shocked that the mayor of Greer is supportive.  He may be doing this to make Greer look less threatening though.  Sort of reverse psychology.

If Taylors is successful. I expect it could lead to similiar efforts in Berea or elsewhere.  If both Berea and Taylors were to incorporate, it is doubtful that Greenville would ever reach 100,000 population, even with a relaxation in annexation laws.  The upstate would be a vast collection of medium and small size cities, without a dominant large city.  That would not be a good thing IMO.       

Article on Taylor's incorporation

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Areas like Berea and Taylors IMO should be incorporated into Greenville's city limit. There is no need for a bunch of small cities all touching each others boundaries. I would agree it would not be a good thing. There needs to be one core large city.

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vicupstate    220

My opinion is that part of the reason Greer is supportive is that the realize that much of taylor's will never be able to be incorporated by them anyways.  Greer incorporates by giving sewer and Taylors has its own sewer.  Even with out Taylors incorporating I would doubt Greer would grow much farther West.  Greer's Growth is going to mostly happen to the North and much will also come from the South and some from the east.

Greer is so close to my home now.  But, it will never be in Greer because Greer wont cross the Enoree on my side of town.  Different sewer system on that side of the river.  I do think Greer has crossed the Enoree farther south of Brushy Creek though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Have the commercial properties that Greer has been annexing on Wade Hampton not been served by the Taylors PSD? It seems that Greer would want to continue taking at least the commercial areas between Greer and Taylors.

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Spartan    682

I am shocked that the mayor of Greer is supportive.  He may be doing this to make Greer look less threatening though.  Sort of reverse psychology.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe they are trying a concept that is foreign to the Upstate: cooperation?

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vicupstate    220

It's not too hard to see all of these cities with 40-60,000 population around 2020:

Greenville

Spartanburg

Anderson

Greer

Taylors

Easley

plus possibly:

Mauldin

Simpsonville

and if it incorporated:

Berea

Boiling Springs??

Piedmont??

None of these would have the tax base to single-handedly provide the big-ticket items like a Coliseum, zoo, performing arts center, baseball park, convention center,etc. They would also be competing against each other (ie the baseball fiasco) for these things. The County governments would be pulled in several directions to support the proposal from each city. That will make cooperation MORE difficult when that time occurs. Just look at the battle for the Hunley Museum between North Charleston, Charleston and Mt. Pleasant. Also note how the state is playing those cities against each other.

I'm very much in favor of inter-government cooperation among established governments, but adding another city, and thus another player at the table, should be cautiously approached. Taylors is seeking to incorporate merely to avoid the taxes that normally come with living in an urban area. The region as a whole will be better off with fewer and larger dominant cities rather than a dozen cities that each have the same pull and power.

You may think that the big ticket items are already being provided by Greenville. They are, but Greenville is already straining to avoid a significant tax increase now because of the Falls Park, Palmetto Expo Center, etc. And that is on TOP of the 2% meal tax that just went in. Ballparks and arenas also have a short life span. By 2020 or so, the Bi Lo Center and Peace Center will be at the end of there useful life, just as the Carolina Coliseum (in Cola) is now. Will a city of 50-60,000 like Gville have the tax base to provide those new venues? And shouldn't they expect those living in the surrounding areas to pull there weight too?

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btoy    20

Have the commercial properties that Greer has been annexing on Wade Hampton not been served by the Taylors PSD? It seems that Greer would want to continue taking at least the commercial areas between Greer and Taylors.

I am about positive that Target gets its sewer from Greer. And I know there is some annexations near by for a different reason, though at this point I can not say more.

But really so far the Target has been what has made Taylors upset. See Taylors starts a Suber Rd. that is where the 29687 zip code is. Now there are Greer city limits in that zipcode. I call this area Graylors because there are properties in City of Greer who adress still says Taylors, SC 29687.

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vicupstate    220

I am about positive that Target gets its sewer from Greer.  And I know there is some annexations near by for a different reason, though at this point I can not say more. 

But really so far the Target has been what has made Taylors upset.  See Taylors starts a Suber Rd. that is where the 29687 zip code is.  Now there are Greer city limits in that zipcode.  I call this area Graylors because there are properties in City of Greer who adress still says Taylors, SC  29687.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I thought the dispute was over who was going to provide sewer to Target. By annexing the property, Greer has settled the question. Is Target in the 29687 zip code? If that were in the PSD's boundaries, they would lose tax base to Greer when Greer annexed it. If Target isn't in the PSD's boundaries, they shouldn't have lost any taxes from Greer annexing it.

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