The Town of James Island signed an historic cost sharing agreement with the James Island Public Service District in September of 2019. The Town is helping the JIPSD pay for fire protection and solid waste collection for our residents. In exchange, the JIPSD has agreed to allow the Town to provide an additional credit against its property tax.
The new credit is provided on the October 2019 Charleston County Consolidated Property tax bill and will appear on vehicle property tax bills starting in January of 2020. The additional credit is $70 for every $100,000 of taxable appraised value (.0007.) For an average James Island home worth $250,000, the property tax saving is $175. For a Town homeowner, this is a 27% saving in the amount paid to the JIPSD and an overall 13.5% reduction in the property tax bill. For vehicles and commercial and rental property, the saving in the amount paid to the JIPSD is 18% and a 4.5% reduction in the overall property tax bill. For personal property, such as boats, the saving in the amount paid to the JIPSD is 10% with a 2.5% reduction in the overall property tax bill. These different percentages are due to assessment ratios provided in the South Carolina Constitution and other credits and reductions available to homeowners.
The Town levies a 20 mil property tax, but it has always provided a 100% Local Option Sales Tax credit. As a result, no net property tax is collected by the Town. Municipalities with no property tax millage may be subject to legal challenge regarding the receipt of monthly distributions by the South Carolina Treasurer from the LOST Property Tax Credit Fund. By levying a millage and providing a LOST credit, the Town is protected from legal challenge by remaining in full compliance with the South Carolina Code.