Frequently Asked Questions

Why not have new residents pay?

That's exactly what we are hoping will happen.
• Based on recent legal opinions and new law the FMSD Board of Trustees and District Administration have formally requested that the York County Council increase the impact fee for schools charged to new construction

• Council has expressed support and a formal study is underway in alignment with state law

• If the impact fee were changed to $10,000 (from $2,500) there would be no increase to taxes to pay for this referendum, and potentially a slight decrease in taxes

What exactly is an impact fee?

The best thing since sliced bread.
An impact fee is a one-time fee charged to the owner of a property at the time a certificate of occupancy is issued for a new residence (Homes, Apartments, Townhomes, etc.).

Its purpose is to offset the costs incurred by the school district to educate the children who will live in that residence and attend Fort Mill Schools.

The current fee is $2,500 for all residences (been in place since 1999), and we anticipate the new impact fee will vary based on type and size of residence.

So do we still need the referendum if the impact fee is increased?

The referendum is the citizens of Fort Mill giving the school district permission to issue bonds (akin to a mortgage a family would take out to build a home) to build new schools and satisfy other capital needs.

The school district is hopeful that after we take out the loans the method to repay them will be fully funded by the increase in the impact fee.

Even with the increase in the impact fee the district needs permission to take out the loans that will then be repaid with the impact fees.

Why not wait for the impact fee?

Because construction needs to start right away on the schools.
Elementary schools in total across the district are projected to be at capacity at the beginning of the 2018 school year. If we delayed starting to build the schools by even 2 months it would likely delay the opening of the schools by an entire school year.

We do not know exactly when the increased impact fee will be approved. It could be early April, or it could hit various delays and be May or June. In a worst case scenario the increased impact fee would not pass at all, which is why we have been transparent in showing the potential tax impact with and without the increased impact fee.

Regardless of whether the impact fee passes, the district needs the new schools and intends to move forward building them immediately after successful passage of the referendum.

What if the referendum doesn't pass?

This one is important enough that we have an entire page dedicated to this topic, but to summarize:

• The district will need to add up to 40 trailers per year beginning in summer of 2018 to relieve freezes and allow for continued growth. 40 trailers purchased through operational dollars would be approximately 53 teachers salaries that would not be funded, or an increase in class size of 2 students per year.
• The space for trailers would reduce use of other school property, like open fields and parking lots.
• Related arts time would be reduced, lunch would begin earlier and end later as cafeteria's wouldn't expand

• School Start times would be staggered significantly more to allow for more routes
• Smaller & Older state busses make for higher operational cost

• As technology breaks it would require significant operational cost to maintain, or equipment would be removed without replacement
• Testing would be impacted, particularly at elementary levels as most testing is done on mobile devices

• Facilities would degrade and require higher operational cost to maintain, meaning less teachers
• Large projects would require operational dollars, meaning less teachers

• Future land purchases would not be available or be more expensive. Board would not have ability to take advantage of opportunities as they arise

What do we need from you?

• Advocates for our schools and the Referendum

• Volunteers to help with the Referendum Committee

• Opportunity to talk to your organization

• Encourage people to vote

Who can I contact to support the impact fee?

The York County Council is ultimately responsible for approving the change in the impact fee. Please feel free to email them and encourage their support in making growth pay for the impact of growth.
Whom to contact to support Impact Fee:

Michael Johnson michael.johnson@yorkcountygov.com

Allison Love allison.love-council@yorkcountygov.com

Robert Winkler robert.winkler@yorkcountygov.com

William Roddey Bump.roddey@yorkcountygov.com

Christi Cox christi.cox@yorkcountygov.com

Britt Blackwell britt.blackwell@yorkcountygov.com

Chad Williams District7@yorkcountygov.com

Where to vote?


March 20, 2018

Vote "YES"

for Fort Mill School Bond

Pick up a yard sign to show your support at
115 Springs Street