GCS BOT Agrees To Mauldin FILOT

No Objection to Terms

Seth Stokes
August 15, 2017 - 5:04 pm

The Greenville County Schools (GCS) Board of Trustees agreed in a meeting today not to object to terms negotiated by the school district and Mauldin City officials regarding a pair of Fee in Lieu of Tax (FILOT)-related inter-governmental agreements proposed by the Mauldin City Council in partnership with the Greenville County Council.

A FILOT is an economic development tool within a Multi-County Industrial Park (MCIP) that allows property to be subject to a fee instead of ad valorem property taxes, providing an incentive for development within the FILOT. Traditionally in Greenville County, payments collected as the result of a FILOT or similar agreement have been dispersed proportionally to the taxing entities of the area under development.

Several weeks ago, GCS became aware of a pair of inter-governmental agreements within the boundaries of Mauldin that would have broken with this tradition by withholding revenue from the area’s taxing entities.  These agreements would have placed GCS in the unenviable position of providing the additional resources and services required in areas of growth, without receiving funding necessary to meet those demands.  When the school district contacted the County, council members postponed a final vote on these agreements to give GCS time to discuss this matter with Mauldin officials.

“Given that economic growth spurs population growth, which directly impacts school services, we believe it is imperative that our school district have a seat at the table whenever local entities are considering alternative tax structures that reduce our revenue stream,” said Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster.  “We recognize that Greenville County has benefited from FILOTs and other inter-governmental agreements, which is why we are willing to compromise with our county and municipalities, so long as those agreements provide revenue for school district operations as they have in the past.”

The agreements that were the subject of today’s Board meeting are both within Mauldin’s city limits, but have different stated outcomes.  Mauldin is the only municipality within Greenville County without a defined downtown; creating one is the purpose of the “Downtown” FILOT. The “CenterPointe” FILOT will be located in a multi-county industrial park that is near I-385 and has gone undeveloped for the last 20 years.

The terms agreed upon today would provide GCS with 10% of the school district’s proportional revenue (53%) of new investment fees generated from the properties affected by these agreements.  Additionally, as the development progresses, the proportionate share returning to the school district will increase to 25% in the middle years and 50% in the agreements’ final years.  The new terms also limit the length of the agreements to 18 years (Downtown) and 20 years (CenterPointe), at which time tax revenue will be collected and dispersed proportionally to all taxing entities.

"I am so pleased that Greenville County Schools and the City of Mauldin were able to come to terms that recognize each entity’s respective mission of education and economic development,” said Board Chairman Dr. Crystal Ball O’Connor.  “We all want what is best for the people of Greenville County and by working together we can continue to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.”

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