FSD1 joins other districts in challenging agreement
At its regular meeting held on Aug. 10 the Board of Trustees for Florence School District One voted to join a pending lawsuit contesting a settlement agreement reached between the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Farmers Telephone Cooperative Inc., on Jan. 8. If upheld, the settlement agreement would require the District to refund the subsidiaries of Farmers Telephone Cooperative approximately $400,000. The settlement agreement states that two Farmers Telephone Cooperative subsidiaries, FTC Communications LLC, and FTC Diversified Services LLC, are entitled to a rural telephone property tax exemption from tax years 2010 through 2015, with the implication that these two entities would be entitled to the exemption for current and future tax years as well. The settlement agreement triggers significant property tax refund liabilities for other school districts, counties, and other local entities within the subsidiaries’ service area.
As such, the District had no choice but to join Clarendon School District Two, Williamsburg County School District, and the Counties of Clarendon, Florence, Sumter, Lee, and Williamsburg in challenging this settlement agreement before the South Carolina Administrative Law Court in order to protect the District’s interests.
The Board has hired the law firm of Parker Poe Adams and Bernstein LLP to handle this contested tax litigation matter.