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Georgetown County sued over road fees, $260M in refunds sought

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The lawsuit estimates that since 2007, Georgetown County has collected an estimated $26 million in "illegal" Road User Fees. File/Staff

GEORGETOWN — A class-action lawsuit trying to stop Georgetown County's fees for road repairs was filed against the county, county council and two top county officials.

The plaintiff want the county to refund $260 million to taxpayers for fees collected for road maintenance the past 14 years.

This comes after a June court ruling in Greenville County declared its similar road fees unconstitutional.

The lawsuit, filed Nov. 5  by Georgetown County resident Richard Butts, claims the county, county council, county Administrator Angela Christian and county Treasurer Miriam Mace should have repealed the roads fee ordinance since the Greenville County ruling.

Georgetown County enacted what it called a Road User Fee in 2001 charging $15 per registered vehicle a year. That fee rose to $20 in 2008 and to $50 in 2018.

The lawsuit estimates that since 2007 Georgetown County has collected an estimated $26 million in what it calls "illegal" fees.

Butts is asking the court for a jury trial and for a refund of the funds at 10 times of what was originally collected, or $260 million.

Representing Butts are five Charleston-based attorneys, some of whom have filed similar road fees lawsuits in other S.C. counties: Clayton McCullough and Ross Appel of McCullough, Khan and Appel and Christopher Tuck, Robert Wood and Charles Dukes of Rodgers, Patrick, Westbrook and Brickman.

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Follow Demi Lawrence on Twitter @DemiNLawrence.

Demi Lawrence reports on Georgetown County for The Post and Courier. She graduated from Ball State University in 2020, and previously was an intern at The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana and Indianapolis Monthly.

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