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Richland County, South Carolina

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Permits, zoning
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Lobbying N
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Public records N
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Local taxes
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Transparency grading process

Richland County is one of 46 counties in South Carolina. As of the 2010 census recorded that its population had reached 384,504. It is the second most populous county in South Carolina, behind only Greenville County. The county seat is Columbia, the state capital. It is also the center of population of South Carolina. Richland County is part of the Columbia, South Carolina, Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of South Carolina county websites

Last rated on May 7, 2012.

The good

  • Council members listed with contact information.[1] Meeting schedule, minutes and agendas available.[2]
  • Building forms are available[3], along with county zoning details[4] and planning policies.[5]
  • Bids are posted[6]
  • Tax rates are published.[7]
  • Budget is published.[8]
  • Annual financial audits are posted.[9]

The bad


The FY 2012 budget contained appropriated expenditures, excluding capital projects, totaled $672 million. This was a 3.9% increase over the FY 2011 budget. The General Fund budget contained no reductions in citizen services or employee layoffs, accommodated a $900,000 reduction in State Aid, along with no new county-funded positions.[10]

FY 2012 adopted expenditures were broken up as follows:[10]

Type Percent of Total
Agency Funds 51%
General Operating 21%
Debt Service 15%
Special Revenue Funds 8%
Enterprise Funds 5%

FY 2012 revenues came from the following sources:[10]

Type Percent of Total
Property and other taxes 80%
Fees in lieu of taxes 3%
Licenses and permits 2%
Intergovernmental 3%
Charges for services 2%
Fees and fines 1%
Operating revenue 4%
Interest 0.1%
Misc. revenues 1%
Other financing sources 4%

Public employees

Elected officials

The County is governed by an 11 member County Council. Members are:[1]

Name District Term Expires
Bill Malinowski District 1 2014
Joyce Dickerson District 2 2012
Damon Jeter District 3
Paul Livingston District 4 2014
Seth Rose District 5 2014
Gregory Pearce, Jr. District 6 2014
Gwendolyn David Kennedy District 7 2012
Jim Manning District 8 2012
Val Hutchison District 9 2012
Kelvin Washington District 10 2012
Norman Jackson District 11 2014

Administrative officials

The current County Administrator if J. Milton Pope. The Administrator serves as the administrative head of the county government.[11]


A database of 2011-2012 salaries maintained by The State lists 14 county employees earning more than $100,000 per year. The top five highest paid employees, as of February 29, 2012, are:[12]

Name Title Listed Salary
John Pope Non-Classified Salaried $157,500.00
Lean Lott, Jr. Non-Classified Salaried $144,702.38
Larry Smith Non-Classified Salaried $126,987.78
Janet Claggett Chief Information Officer $123,987.72
William McDonald Non-Classified Salaried $123,383.72


Eligible employees are required to participate in the South Carolina Retirement System or the Police Officer Retirement System. These are both defined benefit plans administered by the state. Employees contribute 6.5% of their salary, while the county contributes 9.24% to SCRS and 10.65% to PORS. Full retirement eligibility under SCRS begins after 28 years of service, or at age 65 and five years of service. Retirement under PORS begins after 25 years of service, or age 55 and 5 years of service.[13]


The county does not provide information on taxpayer funded lobbying.

Transparency & public records

In April, 2012, the County Council approved a proposal to broadcast all meetings on television and online. The motion had been proposed by Councilman Seth Rose in April, 2011. Rose met initial resistance from four fellow council members. The decision to broadcast meetings included an initial $65,000 expenditure, plus another $35,000 for a paid staffer to operate the control room.[14]


The county collects taxes on real property, business personal property, vehicles, boats and campers, and airplanes.

Millage rates can be found here, and a list of county tax exemptions can be found here.

External links