Annexation is a major issue in South Carolina. As cities expand their borders in to surrounding unincorporated areas in an effort to increase revenue without raising taxes, the result is that the annexed area – already served by another local government – loses revenue. With that revenue loss, vital services can begin to suffer.
This was the case with the Wade Hampton Fire and Sewer District as the City of Greenville, SC annexed large or valuable properties in to the city limits. Wade Hampton Fire and Sewer District lost hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to its budget from these annexations, and with limited growth opportunities and the land development forecast dim as a result of the Great Recession, these financial losses would have impacted sewer service and fire protection for the roughly 25,000 Greenville County residents and businesses served and protected by Wade Hampton.
On Wade Hampton’s behalf, TMPR negotiated an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Greenville to recover lost revenue and also bolster services for the newly annexed residents and businesses to Greenville.
As THE GREENVILLE JOURNAL reported in its May 8, 2014 issue, “They struck a deal: Retroactive to Jan. 1, 2009, Wade Hampton would provide fire protection to any properties within the district’s boundaries that chose to become part of the city of Greenville. It was a win-win: The city could grow its population, and the fire district could preserve its tax base. Mayor Knox White called it ‘the most important intergovernmental agreement the city has ever reached.’”