FAQs 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
• 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
• As technology breaks it would require
significant operational cost to maintain, or
equipment would be removed without
• Testing would be impacted, particularly at
elementary levels as most testing is done on
• Facilities would degrade and require higher
operational cost to maintain, meaning less
• 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
What do we need from you?
• Advocates for our schools and the
• Volunteers to help with the Referendum
• 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.