County office should work for the taxpayers

info@islandpacket.comMay 12, 2013 

I read with interest the letter from the lady whose mother lost her tax status as a permanent resident because she simply changed her mailing address.

I have been a resident of South Carolina for a few years, having purchased a house on Lady's Island. However, my work requires me to travel back to West Virginia, particularly during the fall months.

In 2011, I did not receive a county tax bill, and after inquiry, had to request one be faxed to me. In 2012, I decided to have the bill sent to me while in West Virginia so I could make sure it would be paid in a timely fashion.

Wrong. When I changed my mailing address, I found out several months later that, even though I have a South Carolina driver's license and vehicle registrations and file a South Carolina resident income tax return, the county assessor's office no longer considered me to be a resident.

I was informed the burden of proof was on me. So, ironically, after voting in the South Carolina primary I once again headed back to the courthouse with legal documents in hand. I was told it could take up to two months for approval, and when I asked if they would notify me when approved, the answer was that I would have to keep calling to find out the status.

Several years ago when I worked for an assessor's office, we worked "for the taxpayer," not the other way around.

Doug Herrington

Lady's Island

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