County Council Chairman wavers on vote for Beach Co.’s Kiawah River Plantation plan
Charleston County Council’s Finance Committee was scheduled to take the first of several votes Thursday on the Beach Co.’s controversial plan to use future public tax dollars to pay for $82 million in improvements to the private Kiawah River Plantation development.
But it’s unclear now whether the group will vote on the plan which has generated massive resistance from residents countywide.
Council Chairman Teddie Pryor said he wanted to postpone the vote because he wanted to give the Charleston County School District and other groups who were being asked to give up future tax dollars to finance the improvements to the upscale development on the southern end of Johns Island more time to consider the plan.
Critics of the plan say they think Pryor is trying to delay the vote because it likely would fail, effectively putting and end to the plan.
School board member John Barter, one of three members of a special committee studying the plan’s impact on the school district, said he didn’t ask Pryor for more time. The school board is being asked to give up $63 million in tax revenue over the next 25 years.
Barter said his committee plans to make a presentation on the plan to the full school board on May 15.
Pryor said that although he decided against putting the vote on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting, any council member could call for a vote that day. He’s not sure whether that will happen.
The meeting will include a presentation by Colin Cuskley from the Johns Island Conservancy. Cuskley represents opponents of the plan.
Under the Beach Co.’s plan, the county would form a tax-increment finance district or TIF, which would pay for $82 million in improvements to the property with future tax dollars it would generate.
The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and the St. Johns Fire District also are being asked to forgo future tax revenue.
Check back for updates at postandcourier.com. Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.