Lexington County Council denies City of Cayce TIF request

The City of Cayce has used Tax Increment Financing to develop areas of the city for the last 20 years. But a request to continue to use the funding mechanism that keeps taxpayer money in the municipality was denied Tuesday by Lexington County Council.

Lexington County Photo

“What a shame,” Council Chairman Todd Cullum said after the vote to extend the TIF failed. Cullum said TIF opponents put politics before policy.

Council members: Ned Tolar; Phil Yarborough; Erin Bergeson-Long; Darrell Hudson; and Scott Whetstone voted down the TIF ordinance.

Cullum, Councilwoman Debbie Summers, and Councilmen Bobby Keisler and Larry Brigman voted in support of it.

Cayce is in need of a new Public Safety building. The city’s current facility floods when there is rain. Other projects included for the TIF were a streetscaping project on Knox-Abbott Drive and Cayce’s 12,000 History Park.

As the TIF was discussed, Hudson seemed to become irate when Cullum pointed out that Cayce had “proven themselves in the past” to make the most of TIF funding. Cayce officials have said property has been improved to a valuation of more than $40 million, with TIF-generated proceeds.

Cullum also pointed out that the TIF had been extended in the past- using 1998 property valuations as a base- which is what Cay ce was asking council to extend.

“That was not this council,” Hudson said.

Summers, as the TIF ordinance was brought to the floor, said a compromise had been forwarded that would place property valuations in the TIF district at 2010 values, instead of present values or 1998 values.

Hudson said that level of valuation was offered to Cayce but not accepted.

He also said he was called by University of South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner, who is in favor of allowing Cayce the TIF level it requested. Hudson said he recorded Tanner’s call and that Tanner mentioned an indoor tennis center.

Cayce City Councilwoman Tara Almond, City Manager Rebecca Vance and Assistant City Manager Shaun Greenwood immediately left council chambers as the motion for the TIF failed.