Charleston County, South Carolina
Charleston County is one of 46 counties in South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 350,209. Its county seat is Charleston. It is the third-most populous county in the state (behind Greenville and Richland counties). Charleston County was created in 1901 by an act of the South Carolina State Legislature. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, Charleston County is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area.
This website was last reviewed on May 7, 2012.
- County council members are listed with contact and term information.
- Meeting schedules and minutes are posted.
- The site has a request form for submitting public records requests.
- A phone directory is posted, and elected administrative officials are listed with complete contact information. Other contact details are provided on individual department webpages.
- Tax information is available, and taxes are payable online.
- Building permits and zoning information are posted.
- Budgets and audits are posted.
- Bid opportunities and bid results are posted.
- Full contracts are not posted for city procurement agreements, and users must submit personal contact information in order to view bid tabulations.
- The site does not list memberships in or dues to any government sector lobbying associations.
The FY 2012 budget contains total revenues and transfers in of $346.9 million, an increase of $12.5 million from the previous fiscal year. The largest increase came from an extra $4.6 million in the Solid Waste Recycling and Disposal User Fee. The County also received an increase of $2.6 million for property taxes and $1.5 million for charges for federal prisoners. Sales tax receipts were expected to increase $2.3 million. State Aid declined by $1.5 million.
FY 2012 expenditures totaled $368.6 million. This was down $5.3 million from the previous fiscal year. The county decreased transfers out of the operating funds by $15.1 million.
The County is governed by a nine member County Council. Members are:
|Herbert Ravenel Sass, III||District 1||December, 2014|
|Dickie Schweers||District 2||December, 2014|
|J. Elliott Summey||District 3||December, 2012|
|Henry Darby||District 4||December, 2012|
|Teddie E. Pryor, Sr.||District 5||December, 2014|
|A. Victor Rawl||District 6||December, 2012|
|Colleen T. Condon||District 7||December, 2012|
|Anna B. Johnson||District 8||December, 2014|
|Joseph K. Qualey||District 9||December, 2014|
The current County Administrator is W. Kurt Taylor. The Administrator is hired by the County Council and serves a the Chief Administrative Officer. The Administrator carries out the day-to-day operations of the County as well as the policies of the County Council.
An administrative organizational chart can be found here.
In 2010, the Charleston County Council agreed to post the salaries of employees earning over $50,000 on its website. The Council include the names, positions, and salaries of those employees, but excluded the salaries of elected officials. Council members Vic Rawl and Colleen Condon voted against posting the salary data online.
The information listed 28 employees earning over $100,000 per year. The top five highest salaried employees were:
|Michael Allen O'Neal||County Administrator (former)||$169,950.00|
|Winfred Kurt Taylor||Deputy County Administrator||$148,012.80|
|Keith D. Bustraan||Assistant Administrator Finance||$144,393.60|
|James A. Cannon, Jr.||Sheriff||$143,832.00|
|Walter L. Smalls||Assistant Administrator||$136,094.40|
Employees participate in the South Carolina Retirement System State Retirement Plan. They may also participate in an optional deferred compensation program.
The County does not provide information on taxpayer funded lobbying.
Transparency & public records
A Freedom of Information Act request form can be found here.
The FY 2012 budget expected an increase of $2.6 million collected through property taxes, along with an increase of $2.3 million in sales tax collections.
The operating millage for FY 2012 is 40.2 mills. The debt service millage stands at 6.6 mills. The county's Local Option Sales Tax credit is $177.50 for a $250,000 property appraisal. The county also charges a Solid Waste, Recycling and Disposal Fee of $99 per residential property.
Shepard Tract land
The Charleston County Council decided to place a deed restriction on the property and put up for sale the 750-acre tract, near U.S. 17 and Parkers Ferry Road. This land, the Shepard Tract, was once considered as a potential location for garbage landfill. Residents in 2009 protested about the possible use of this site as a dump and the county decided to sell the land.
There was a willing buyer but they seemed to want the land without any deed restriction.
Unwittingly, Charleston County had not placed a restriction on the title prohibiting landfill and when it announced its intention, the buyer lost interest.
- Official Charleston County Website
- Map of Charleston County, South Carolina, SciWay.com
- Charleston County Quick Facts, United States Census Bureau
- Charleston County Public Library
- Charleston County School District
- Charleston County, "Council Contacts," accessed May 7, 2012
- Charleston County, "Calendar," accessed May 7, 2012
- Charleston County, "Minutes," accessed May 7, 2012
- Charleston County, "FOIA Form," accessed May 7 2012
- Charleston County, "Phone Directory," accessed May 7, 2012
- Charleston County, "Elected Officials," accessed May 7, 2012
- "Charleston County" "Departments and Services," accessed May 7, 2012
- Charleston County, "Tax Info," accessed May 7, 2012
- Charleston County, "Planning," accessed May 7, 2012
- Charleston County, "Financial Reports," accessed May 7, 2012
- Charleston County, "Procurement," accessed May 7, 2012
- "Charleston County" "Budget in Brief FY 2012," accessed May 7, 2012
- "Charleston County" "Administrator," accessed May 7, 2012
- "County to post top salaries," The Post and Courier, March 23, 2012," accessed May 7, 2012
- "Charleston County" "Employee Salary List," accessed May 7, 2012
- "Charleston County" "Human Resources" "Employee Benefits," accessed May 7, 2012
- "Charleston County Plans Sale of Land Tract ," The Nerve, November 30, 2010