Charleston County Council tonight will decide whether to take the next steps toward a controversial financing plan for infrastructure improvements for the Beach Company’s Kiawah River Plantation development on Johns Island.
The plan calls for creating what is known as a tax-increment financing district for the property, which sits near Mullet Hall on Johns Island. Under that plan, improvements for the development would be paid for by future tax revenue generated by the development.
Kevin O’Neill, vice president of development for Beach Development, said the company requested the county consider creating the TIF because the Kiawah River development likely would bring in jobs and tourism. It could generate as much as $84.5 million in tax revenue during the next 45 years, he said.
While plans are not yet for how most of the that money would be spent, he said, the company has asked that Charleston County’s $11.5 million portion be used to pay for a waste water treatment facility.
Megan Derosiers, associate director at the Coastal Conservation League, said her group is opposed to the creating the district. “It’s a big fat county subsidy for a developer on Johns Island,” she said.
Tax-increment financing was originally developed to improve blighted urban areas, where infrastructure already exists, she said. The method is not effective in rural areas. And, under the current proposal, 77 percent of the tax money for the TIF would come from the school district.
County Council meets at 7 p.m. tonight in council chambers in the Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston.
Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier. Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.