Greenville Co. Council sued after passing property tax, registration fee hike

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) –

Eight prominent members of the Greenville County community have filed a lawsuit against the county’s council regarding a recently-passed telecommunications and road maintenance ordinance.

On Mar. 7, Greenville County Council voted 7 to 4 to pass the ordinance, which hikes taxpayers’ annual property tax and increases the cost of automobile registration fees.

The increased costs are expected to be applied toward an upgraded radio system for Greenville County emergency personnel and toward repairing county roads.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Ordinance approved to increase Greenville Co. taxpayers’ annual property tax

Several members of the council and Upstate lawmakers, however, believe the council violated its own practices when the ordinance was passed.

According to the lawsuit filed by Joe Dill, Willis Meadows, Michael Barnes, Deirdra Dill, Mike Burns, Bill Chumley, Garry Smith and Dwight Loftis, said the council has a longstanding history of requiring a three-fourths majority to pass any action raising fees or taxes.

The plaintiffs also argue the fees are not uniform in application and are not “reasonably related to the legislative purpose.” They believe the fees, which have owners of multiple small parcels of property pay more than owners of large, multi-acre properties, are discriminatory.

They are asking for a permanent injunction against enforcement of the ordinance.

Greenville County and the council have 30 days to respond to the lawsuit.

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