Monday, November 20, 2017

When you get George’s mail (but your name’s not George)

Have you ever bought a house? The amount of paperwork, headaches and hoops you go through all seem worth it in the end when you have the keys in your hand and walk through your front door. Then you check your mailbox, and you keep getting George’s mail. But George doesn’t live here anymore. George is long gone. So you write “return to sender, recipient no longer at this address” on the envelopes and pop them back in the mail.

It’s the same way for that election you just won or the job you just landed with your city or town. You don’t want George’s mail, either. So how do you get your information updated with the Municipal Association?

The Association has an extensive database where we house all of our contact information on local officials and municipal staff. The information is provided by elected officials and city staff creating a profile through our website (Member Login) or by municipal clerks updating and verifying the information annually through our online system called the Municipal Information Dashboard.

Every year around this time, municipal clerks (or their designee) are asked to review, update and verify their city's information, such as staff titles and changes in elected leadership, through the MID. 

How does that help you? 
  •  You no longer receive George’s mail. You are the proud occupant of your new role, so information meant for you goes to you, and your name is on it. 
  • When your role with the city is accurately recorded in the database, you receive information targeted specifically to your position.
  • The Association can send you information on training opportunities, registration information, and legal updates and background information on legislation important to local government. 
  • The database also houses information to be used in the online and print versions of the 2018 Municipal Officials and Legislative Directory, which provides easy access to key city demographic and contact information and names of elected officials and key municipal personnel
Municipal clerks received an email and letter in early November asking them to make updates by November 22 using the MID. While the MID can be accessed and updated throughout the year, it is important to update the information in November in preparation for the printed edition of the 2018 Municipal Officials and Legislative Directory.

To protect the integrity of the data, the ability to see, certify and change the municipality's information is restricted to the city clerk or a designated representative. For cities without a clerk, or if someone else should be designated to update the information, contact Ashleigh Hair at or 803.933.1288.

The Municipal Association does not share or sell email addresses provided by local officials.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Mayors voice concerns about provisions of federal tax reform package impacting cities

In a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation, more than 40 South Carolina mayors voiced their concern about a number of the proposals in the tax reform package being debated on Capitol Hill this week.

While noting the importance of proposal not including the elimination of the deduction on municipal bond interest, the mayors, representing cities as large as Columbia and as small as Ulmer, pointed to six proposals in the package that would be universally harmful to the state’s cities and towns:

•    Eliminating the deduction for state income and local and state sales taxes;
•    Limiting the deduction for city and county property taxes above $10,000;
•    Eliminating the New Markets Tax Credit, the Historic Preservation Tax Credit and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit;
•    Eliminating advance refunding of municipal bonds, effective December 31, 2017;
•    Eliminating Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, Energy Conservation Bonds, Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, Build America Bonds and other tax credit bonds effective December 31, 2017; and
•    Eliminating private activity bonds, effective December 31, 2017.

In the letter, the mayors told delegation members “We recognize that our federal tax code is complex and in need of simplification. However we have serious concerns about Congress reducing the flexibility of a variety of funding options local officials must have in order to raise the revenues needed to meet our communities’ needs.”

Debate on the tax reform package will continue next week.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Congressional tax reform harmful to cities: Package on a very aggressive timeline

The tax reform package released in Congress on November 2 could be devastating to local governments, and it’s on a fast track. 

This proposal would cap local property tax deductions, eliminate key credits like the Historic Tax Credit, and eliminate the state and local sales and income deductions. The House leadership plans to begin hearings on this bill on Monday. 

Get details on the plan.

According to the National League of Cities, there is an aggressive timeline to get the bill through the House and Senate by the end of the year. It’s all hands on deck time for members of the South Carolina delegation to hear from local leaders about the huge impact this tax proposal would have on our cities and towns.

Proposed timeline

In the House: The Ways and Means Committee is expected to start considering tax reform Monday, November 6. The meeting is scheduled to last more than one day to accommodate member statements, amendments considered and voted, and then the vote to report the bill to the full House.

If the Ways and Means Committee approves tax reform legislation as anticipated, the full House is expected to consider the bill the week of Nov. 13.

In the Senate: The Senate Finance Committee is expected to consider its version of tax reform legislation the week of Nov. 13.

The Senate version is expected to have notable changes to the House version, likely being more "moderate" on several tax provisions and policy than the House bill. If the Senate committee approves the bill the week of Nov. 13, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he expects the full Senate to consider the bill before Thanksgiving.

If this time frame holds, that would leave December for the House and Senate to reconcile differences between the bills, and significant differences are expected. The goal would be to send a final tax reform bill to the president by the end of the calendar year.

Congressman Tom Rice is on the House Ways and Means Committee. Senator Tim Scott is on the Senate Finance Committee. Both of them need to hear from South Carolina leaders!

Questions: Contact Reba Campbell at