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Greenville County Property Tax Increase Battle



By MICHELLE SHUMAN, Greenville County Taxpayer Advocate (August 7, 2023): Who am I? Why am I here? What is our situation? Where do we go from here? These are the questions I want to briefly address.

I am Michelle Shuman. Some of you have seen my writings on Facebook and Nextdoor about the Greenville County property tax increase and other issues with the finances and operations of the government of Greenville County.

First, I am a child of God and I am totally out of my element. I teach preschoolers about God and His Word on Sunday so that is my comfort zone.

I am not a native, but as close to one as you can get without actually being one. My husband is a true native, born in the old Greenville General Hospital. My parents moved here in the mid 1960’s when I was only 9 months old and this became home.

I am going to give you a little bit of my life and work experience because it ties into some of what I am doing now with the County tax issue. You need to understand, I am just one of you. I am just a taxpayer seeking answers and frustrated with my government. I don’t have any special degrees or experience. My college and master’s degrees are in education.

After finishing my master’s degree, I moved to West Virginia for 5 years in the early 90’s to teach in a small Christian school near my grandparents. In the summers, I worked in a company’s accounting department where I quickly learned data entry skills and collections. Part of the collections’ duties involved research and problem solving. I moved back here in the mid 90’s and haven’t left since. I worked in healthcare briefly then began working for a real estate developer and builder. Part of my responsibility there was again data entry and spreadsheets. In particular, I entered the information so that one of the owners could keep a close watch on the costs of each individual house. He literally nickled and dimed each one, every single house. In addition, I helped with property management on some of the commercial properties including the office we were in which included moving it into a new space at one point. I’ve also worked for Nuvox Communications where I did auditing of their commissions systems as well as other work in their commissions department. Later, I would work in the commercial real estate industry where I really picked up a lot more experience with leases, sale of commercial property, zoning, codes, etc. Eventually I would end up working for a politician who is now no longer serving so now I can talk.

I bought my house in 2004 before my husband and I ever started dating. I had big dreams. It’s a cottage on a nice 1/3 acre. I wanted to make some changes. But the change in the property tax law changed all of that. If we made the changes I dreamed of, the reassessment would cause the taxes to skyrocket.

Early this past winter after we had paid off our home in the fall, my husband and I discussed that regrettably we would never really own our home because of property taxes. Another reality is if we were trying to buy a house today, the same house would be out of our price range.

When the Greenville County Council started talking about raising our property tax millage, I started thinking about the situation and what I knew about the laws and taxes. Ever since I started working in real estate the first time, I’ve watched the real estate around me. I, like I’m sure many of you, questioned if the County isn’t getting additional taxes from reassessment and all of the sales. So, I got up one Saturday morning and started researching my own street. I knew which houses had sold and even the ones that had been remodeled or had additions. That was the start of my research. All of this information is based on public records. Anyone can easily access the information.

I did the taxable values back to 2016, but I could only see the last 3 years of tax bills online. I looked at the county tax line of the property tax bills only. In 2021, the County received an addition $294.79 in taxes over what it received in 2020. In 2022, the County received an additional $1,194.34 in taxes over what it received in 2021. The increases in taxable values were $73,250 for 2020 over 2019, $362,920 for 2021 over 2020, and $628,960 for 2022 over 2021. Most of these homes are owner occupied and only two have undergone significant remodeling or additions. All other increases are either from sales or reassessment. So yes, reassessment, remodeling, and sales is making a difference in what our County gets.

I did this same exercise to see the difference in a newly developed subdivision near my home and I also looked at some new commercial properties and apartments compared to existing commercial properties and apartments. Every time the results showed that the County is getting more money from the reassessments, sales, developments, and remodeling.

Another thing I looked at was the overall property tax revenues for the County back to 2015. The previous budgets are all online on the County’s website. I looked at property tax revenue only and not any other revenue source that the County has.

The County is increasing its property tax revenues every year on the average of 4.89%. Even in the reassessment year, the increase was 3.59%. In 2015, the County took in almost $81 million. In 2022, the County took in almost $113 million. So, in 2022 the County took in $32 million more than they did in 2015. During this time there has not been a millage increase yet the amount of money taken in has still increased every single year including the reassessment year.

This information took me to asking questions and learning more information. I discovered the SC Association of Counties website. This is a great resource of information. Among the wealth of information is definitions, tables, comparisons of the State’s counties and opinions on issues. This was a great way to start checking the information that our county officials were giving us. Among the many reports on the website is a report for each year that gives each county in the state and the different taxes and fees charged in each county. The most recent information they have is for 2022 so that is the numbers we will be using.

First, what is millage? It’s just a fancy term for the way property tax rates are expressed and is written as a percent number. A mil is equal to $1 of tax per $1000 in assessed value.

Below is the breakdown for the number that the SC Association of Counties is using for its comparisons in defining “County Base Millage Rate.” In 2022, Greenville County’s base millage rate was 59 mils: County General Fund: .03930, Greenville Tech: .00500, Library: .00800, Art Museum: .00140, Debt: .00040, Charity Hospitalization: .00230, Certificates of Participation: .00100, and Solid Waste: .00170. This does not include any other entity like municipalities, school board, fire districts, sewer, etc. This number does include Greenville Tech and the Library because that is what the SC Association of Counties included. We all pay this base amount no matter where we live. In my writings, this is the number and definition I have stuck to when comparing us with other counties.

The value of one mil is an approximate value based on a percentage of the county’s total assessed value contingent upon 100% of the tax being collected. The value of a mil is important because it shows where we rank in the state as compared to the other counties based on the assessment of our properties. It is very important to note that our county tax assessor’s office sets the taxable assessed value on each property. That may or may not be market rate.

For 2022, Greenville County’s value of a mil is $2,811,527. For 2022, we are ranked second behind Charleston County which has a value of a mil of $4.7 million. Horry County is 3rd in the state at $2.7 million.

In Greenville County we have a lower millage rate, but are paying more in taxes because our assessed value is higher. All of our neighboring counties have a much lower value of a mil. This means a house appraised for $250,000 in Greenville would be considered less house than one appraised for $250,000 in another upstate county. To raise $20 million the approximate amount our County Council is seeking to raise, Anderson would need to increase their millage by 23, Pickens by 31, Oconee by 33, Laurens by 107, and Spartanburg by 130. So, when our leaders try to make it sound like we are low in our taxes compared to others, they are not telling the full story. Yes, our millage is lower, but our properties are assessed considerably higher than they would be in other counties.

Over this past weekend I was given a piece of paper by someone not on County Council. I had not seen this information before. It was something that Joe Kernell gave to the Council but was never made public. On it, Mr. Kernell gives the 2023 value of a mil for Greenville County as $2,975,570. This number is dated April 4, 2023 long before our real property tax bills will be printed. In the budget, he bases his estimates on collecting 88% of the taxes due the County. Based on this new value of a mil, this means that without the tax increase the County’s property tax revenue was estimated to go up to $126,735,477. This is an increase of $13,775,081 over the 2022 collections. With the tax increase, the revenue is estimated to go up to $145,064,988 which is an increase of $26,258,824.

To figure your property tax: the taxable appraised value is multiplied by the assessment ratio. That amount is then multiplied by the millage rate. On the County’s website, there is a table for 2022 that shows each tax district and the total millage for that district combining all taxing entities.

I listened to the budget workshop and started reading the budget. Inordinately high budget increases started jumping out at me and when I would try to find out why, there weren’t any concrete answers. I learned we don’t do zero-based budgeting. We also don’t have a true budget, not even really a spending bill as Joe Kernell is authorized to transfer money from account to account however and whenever he desires without asking the County Council thereby changing the budget. An example of this is the time when he put a $1 million crane purchase in the budget under roads. The money for a new crane was in there to reserve the money for future use. No one is sure whatever really happened to the money. He actually referred to the crane money at this year’s budget workshop. Then I looked at the Auditor’s report for 2022 and even more questions arose.

I also took the expenses that are listed on the County’s website for both the new buildings and the Halton Road building and put them in a spreadsheet. Talk about eye-opening. Here is where I discovered we spent just under $60,000 on water bottles, coffee cups, and coffee tumblers alone. This exercise also showed how sloppy things are entered into the website. Whether it was accidental or intentional so we wouldn’t know the whole truth, I don’t know, but in an organization that size there is no excuse for the sloppiness.

A lot of my writing came in direct response to things that were said on the news and in meetings by our county officials.

I’ve had multiple people reach out to me in private to give me information or to tell me where to look. I don’t reveal my sources.

There remains a pile of questions to ask and information to sort through. There are still all of the questions I’ve asked that need to be answered.

This same research really needs to be done for each governing entity within our county.

Yes, we lost the vote on the property taxes, the battle. But we are in a war which we have to continue to fight and win. Now is the time to start working on replacing these people who voted against the tax payer. Our county government must become more open. We must put pressure on them to put more things online. They must stop giving money away to special interests. Just because it sounds good doesn’t mean we the tax payer should be paying for it. You can look for the roads to come up again soon in the form of another tax – probably either a sales tax or an additional road maintenance fee. You can also look for a discussion on the Triumph Soccer Stadium. Is the money hidden in the budget? Probably, but where? Only Joe Kernell knows for sure. We must not continue to allow the citizens to have a short memory. We must continually remind them. My goal is to continue to write on issues and keep reminding people so that we don’t forget before the local election cycle starts next year.

You can watch Mrs. Shuman’s presentation below –


Greenville County website:

The South Carolina Association of Counties website:



RULE 6 – Congressional District Organizations

Read and Learn



SCGOP Rules (v2022-07-30):  HERE

Yesterday we shared with you the CALL TO CONVENTION for the 7 SCGOP Congressional District Conventions coming up in April (HERE).   All America FIRST SCGOP State Delegates should REGISTER … and attend!!!  Consider it mandatory to #SaveSouthCarolina!!!  😉 

Well, guess what … there are 3 1/2 pages of “Rules” about these 7  SCGOP Congressional District Organizations … including details on the conventions.

We won’t repeat the entire Rule 6 here … it is 3 1/2 pages … but click below … read Rule 6 … and let us know if you have any questions or see anything interesting.  It is critical to know the RULES!!!

READ RULE 6:  “Congressional District Organization” – HERE

March 28th, 2024 mySCGOP Article:  HERE

Jan 19th, 2024 mySCGOP Article:  HERE

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ESA Supreme Court Oral Arguments – Disaster!

Unconstitutional again??? For the THIRD time???



5 Minute YouTube Video: HERE

  • $55 MILLION for “real” School Choice READY TODAY!!!
  • S285 has already PASSED the SC Senate (28 to 9 vote)!!!
  • S285 is just sitting in the SC House waiting to be passed.
  • Could be passed, AS-IS, No Changes and be law within a week.
  • $11,000 scholarships for special needs … not $6,000 like ESA.
  • $11,000 scholarships for low income … not $6,000 like ESA.
  • 100% Constitutional … not like the ESA.
  • No Gov’t Strings Attached … not like the ESA.
  • Approved by Homeschoolers / HSLDA … not like the ESA.
  • All sides say they support it … not like the ESA.
  • Nearly UNIVERSAL School Choice!!!
  • All families up to 400% of poverty are eligible ($124,800 for a family of 4).

ESA Supreme Court Oral Arguments: This past Wednesday March 6th, the SC Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the lawsuit claiming (as we believe) that the ESA / Education Scholarship Trust Fund (ESTF) program is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

You all recall that a substantially similar ESA program was twice ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL back in 2020 … both decisions were unanimous 5 to 0 opinions … and that point was made very clear by Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty (HERE) as the hearing began.  The Chief Justice was unrelenting in his disdain for the ESA program … probably more that a judge should be in open court … but the other Justices were not very easy on the matter either.

Acting Justice, Chief Judge James E. Lockemy (HERE) of the SC Court of Appeals made a huge issue of whether the Superintendent of Education could even administer the program … based on the fact that her Constitutional Duty was to represent Public Schools.  That was a new twist, and not a good sign for the ESA pushers. 

 Watch the 1 hour & 7 minute video of the hearing yourself:  HERE

You never know what may happen … and we are sure the “politicians” electing these SC Supreme Court Justices have been working them hard to rule their “monied special interest” ESA bill is legal … but it could very well be that the SC Supreme Court rules this program unconstitutional for a third time.

The 2020 ESA decision was originally heard on September 18th, 2020, with the decision filed on October 7, 2020 … just 3 weeks later.  Legislators (and families / schools) need to know before the 2024 legislative session ends in early May, so the clock is ticking. 

Surprisingly, very few mainstream media outlets are reporting on this … but you can see what Alexander Thompson of The Post & Courier (HERE) and Seanna Adcox of the SC Daily Gazette (HERE) and Jeffrey Collins of the Associated Press (HERE) had to say about the oral arguments. 

PASS S285 – “real” School Choice:  S285 has already passed the SC Senate and is objectively “better” than the 100% Government Run / government strings attached ESA program … so why are legislators delaying???   What do we say … #FollowTheMONEY!!!

Call your SC House Legislators TODAY!!!

March 6th, 2024 Oral Arguments Video:

Watch the 1 hour, 7 minute oral arguments:  HERE

The 2020 ESA Program using the same ClassWallet (HERE) online portal was ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL as a prohibited “direct” benefit to private schools.

Election Day Countdown (as of 03/11/2024):

  • Saturday, March 16th @ Noon – 5 days (SC Filing Opens)
  • Monday, April 1st @ Noon – 21 days (SC Filing Closes)
  • Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 – 92 days (SC Primaries)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2024 – 239 (ELECTION DAY)

Send us your opinion on this great debate … and how you would like to see it solved … by hitting REPLY or emailing us at

Have an opinion? Different or in agreement? About the above or something else? If so, speak up as we want to hear from you! Send your letters to and we will be happy to share it with our readers. #SaveSouthCarolina!


Make a Charitable Donation TODAY: HERE

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H5164 – Universal Gov’t Run School Choice is BAD for ALL!

Bad for Homeschool & Private Schools



H5164 Bad for Homeschool & Private Schools

We have seen A LOT of “Call To Action” alerts going out on social media and via email about defeating H5164 as it includes homeschoolers in the 100% Government Run ESA Program (aka ESTF Program).

Well … that is nice … but realize if we simply get the home school provision removed … THAT IS NOT A VICTORY!!!

If H5164 … the 100% government run school choice program is bad for homeschoolers … it is equally as bad for ALL K-12 education … that includes Private & Christian Schools as well. Right?

It may feel like an “easy” win to remove homeschoolers from H5164 … heck the uniparty may have included homeschoolers just as a “red herring” to give grassroots a perceived (yet fake) win if legislators do ultimately remove homeschoolers.

Stand up for ALL kids … oppose H5164 for the right reasons … for ALL the reasons. Don’t miss the big picture in order to “feel good” about a fake win.  

We don’t want 100% government control of our education system …  PERIOD!!!  100% government control is the problem … not just the fact homeschoolers are included in this v02 of SC Superintendent Ellen Weaver & her monied special interest (i.e., ClassWallet) ESA / ESTF Program.



PASS S285: Whether some folks like it or not … the “only” solution to fighting back against 100% government run school choice is for the SC House of Representatives to pass S285 (HERE). The SC Senate has already passed it … we are just waiting for the SC House to DO SOMETHING … to pass S285 as-is, with not changes … and send it straight to the Governor for signing!!!

The (P)ACE Tax Credit Scholarship Bill is the grandaddy of school choice in our nation … and it is the “only” school program designed to FIGHT BACK against government overreach into our private schools & homeschoolers. Wouldn’t that be a good thing for SC Patriots to have on their side fighting government overreach everywhere?

Why else do you think SC House Legislators on both sides are trying to defeat it? 😉

DEFINITION: red herring (noun), something intended to distract attention from the real problem.

03/05/2024 mySCGOP Article:  HERE

Election Day Countdown (as of 03/08/2024):

  • Saturday, March 16th @ Noon – 8 days (SC Filing Opens)
  • Monday, April 1st @ Noon – 24 days (SC Filing Closes)
  • Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 – 95 days (SC Primaries)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2024 – 242 (ELECTION DAY)

Send us your opinion on this great debate … and how you would like to see it solved … by hitting REPLY or emailing us at

Have an opinion? Different or in agreement? About the above or something else? If so, speak up as we want to hear from you! Send your letters to and we will be happy to share it with our readers. #SaveSouthCarolina!


Make a Charitable Donation TODAY: HERE

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BREAKING … Haley OUT at 10AM




As expected, President DONALD TRUMP had a swath or crushing victories in yesterday’s SUPER TUESDAY primaries.

Haley did however win one state … VERMONT … home of Socialist US Senator Bernie Sanders.  Like her victory over the weekend in Washington, DC … it’s nothing to be super proud of (HERE).

Nikki Haley’s Campaign went “dark” for hours last night … and this morning they announced she will be suspending her campaign today at 10AM.

Watch the livestream below … 

USA Today Livestream:  HERE

Election Day Countdown (as of 03/06/2024):

  • Saturday, March 16th @ Noon – 10 days (SC Filing Opens)
  • Monday, April 1st @ Noon – 26 days (SC Filing Closes)
  • Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 – 97 days (SC Primaries)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2024 – 244 (ELECTION DAY)

Send us your opinion on this great debate … and how you would like to see it solved … by hitting REPLY or emailing us at

Have an opinion? Different or in agreement? About the above or something else? If so, speak up as we want to hear from you! Send your letters to and we will be happy to share it with our readers. #SaveSouthCarolina!


Make a Charitable Donation TODAY: HERE

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H5164 Universal SC Government Control of K-12 Education

Both Rep. Adam Morgan & Speaker Smith support H5164? #Uniparty?



TRICK #1 – “Red Meat” for the Republican Base:  We have seen this “show” numerous times.  The SC House establishment will put up a “red meat” bill (i.e., appeals to the Republican base) which likely has ZERO chance of going anywhere in the Senate … but establishment SC House members / leadership can CAMPAIGN on passing some real conservative legislation and point the finger at the SC Senate.  It has been done over and over and over through the years … and they did it again last Wednesday with a faux “Universal School Choice” bill, H5164.

H5164: HERE

Don’t buy it … if they really cared about “school choice”, they would have passed the $55 MILLION (P)ACE Scholarship Bill … S285 … the “real” school choice bill which has been sitting in the SC House Ways & Means Committee since March 28th, 2023 after the SC Senate set it for SPECIAL ORDER and passed it 28 to 9.  (HERE)

TRICK #2 – Not all “school choice” is the same:  There is 100% government run school choice like the ESA / H5164 … which is bad … and there is free market school choice which is run by independent conservative non-profits with NO GOVERNMENT STRINGS ATTACHED.

When anyone tells you about a “school choice” bill you FIRST question needs to be “who” administers the program?  If it is the GOVERNMENT who administers the program … be it the SC State Department of Education … or worse, the SC Department of Revenue … the bill is BAD!!!

Don’t be lazy and say “I just want school choice, I don’t really care what it is.”  There is a massive difference short-term and long-term between 100% government run / strings attached ESAs like H5164 … and “real” free-market school choice Tax Credit Scholarships like S285. 

TRICK #3 – Fast-tracked Committee Hearings:  Well, H5164 was filed out of the blue on Wednesday, February 28th … and it already has a scheduled House Sub-Committee Hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 5th (TODAY!!!) … and a Full Committee Hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 6th.  

Seem a little “pre-planned“???  😉 

TRICK #4 – Everybody supports the bill!!!:  Yes, this is when you know there is a real problem and the fix is in.  Remember SC First STEPS … another 100% supported, 100% government run leftist program passed in the dark of the night with lightening speed (HERE).  

Well guess what … “everybody” supports this 100% Government Run “universal school choice” bill … and when we say everybody, that means SC HOUSE LEADERSHIP and the SC FREEDOM CAUCUS.

Ask yourself … why is the SC House Freedom Caucus supporting a 100% government run anything???

Rep. Adam Morgan & Speaker Smith support H5164? Hmmm …

Folks tell us all the time that it makes no sense that the SC Freedom Caucus would support 100% Government Run ESAs … it is the complete OPPOSITE of what they preach.  Well, that is true … “freedom” is not 100% government run.

But the SCFC does support 100% government run school choice … so what gives?

It is real simple … MONEY!!!

SCFC Chairman & 4th Congressional District Candidate Rep. Adam Morgan’s (HERE) family owns an EDUCATIONAL CONSULTING FIRM called Palmetto Fortis (HERE) … and SCFC members Rep. Alan Morgan (HERE & HERE) and Rep. Josiah Magnuson (HERE HERE) both work there.

As we have shown you before, this ESA program means HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS to monied special interests (HERE) … it hasn’t even started and $4.2 million has already been awarded to just one vendor, ClassWallet (HERE).

Connect the dots friends …   

MAJOR CONFLICTS OF INTEREST???:  Well, these are the questions we have been asking the Morgans and the SC Freedom Caucus up here in Greenville for well over two years with NO ANSWERS.  And it is the reason the SC Freedom Caucus has been working with Drew McKissick supporting these “splinter groups” in places like LEXINGTON & Greenville … they don’t want us asking these questions or telling you the backstory.  

Think about it … if there was nothing “wrong” going on, wouldn’t the Morgans and the SC Freedom Caucus be willing to discuss the matter???

Lawyer Legislators may be making MILLIONS off of their “special gigs” … but they are not the only ones at the SC State House shaking down taxpayers for their own personal financial benefit.

As we teach … follow the money.

Morgan Family Business – Palmetto Fortis: HERE

Election Day Countdown (as of 03/05/2024):

  • Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 – TODAY (Super Tuesday)
  • Saturday, March 16th @ Noon – 11 days (SC Filing Opens)
  • Monday, April 1st @ Noon – 27 days (SC Filing Closes)
  • Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 – 98 days (SC Primaries)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2024 – 245 (ELECTION DAY)

Send us your opinion on this great debate … and how you would like to see it solved … by hitting REPLY or emailing us at

Have an opinion? Different or in agreement? About the above or something else? If so, speak up as we want to hear from you! Send your letters to and we will be happy to share it with our readers. #SaveSouthCarolina!


Make a Charitable Donation TODAY: HERE

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Haley Wins … Washington DC

Wining Washington, DC is nothing to be proud of!



Reuters Article:  HERE

No … wining Washington, DC is nothing to be proud of … whatsoever!!!

But that is what Nikki Haley did over the weekend … winning Washington, DC by 1,274 votes to TRUMP’s 676.   TRUMP however cleaned up in Missouri, Idaho and the Michigan Caucuses over the weekend … places where you want to win (as opposed to the SWAMP … Washington, DC).

What we found most interesting however were two quotes …

The first quote came out of the mouth of the Washington DC Republican Party (www.dcgop.comChairman Patrick Mara (HERE & HERE) who told Politico “This universe is a little more sophisticated than just about any universe in any other state”.  SAY WHAT!?!?!?  Chairman Mara continued on stating “I listen to the political podcasts in the morning. I read the newsletters throughout the day. That’s probably, like, half the people showing up at this.”  (Politico – HERE).  

Does this guy have any self awareness???

The second quote which gets into the political / mental / media manipulation … the Yahoo!News Chief National Correspondent Jon Ward called Washington, DC a state (HERE) … specifically stating Nikki Haley “won her first state in the nominating cycle with a victory in Sunday’s Washington, D.C., primaries.

Deliberate?  You decide.

SUPER TUESDAY is tomorrow … get ready!!!

Yahoo/News:  HERE

Election Day Countdown (as of 03/04/2024):

  • Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 – TOMORROW (Super Tuesday)
  • Saturday, March 16th @ Noon – 12 days (SC Filing Opens)
  • Monday, April 1st @ Noon – 28 days (SC Filing Closes)
  • Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 – 99 days (SC Primaries)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2024 – 246 (ELECTION DAY)

Send us your opinion on this great debate … and how you would like to see it solved … by hitting REPLY or emailing us at

Have an opinion? Different or in agreement? About the above or something else? If so, speak up as we want to hear from you! Send your letters to and we will be happy to share it with our readers. #SaveSouthCarolina!


Make a Charitable Donation TODAY: HERE

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