Utilities, taxes, and dues in West Ridge

1. Utility companies:

1.1 Electricity: Santee Cooper (residential rates)

1.2 Water: Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority

1.3 Trash collection

No extra cost. Weekly trash collection is part of your HOA dues.

1.4 Landline phone, Internet, Cable TV: Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC)

West Ridge is an HTC-exclusive enclave for landline telephone, cable TV, and Internet service. Some people have DirectTV, Dish, or other over-the-air services. Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) is not available. In West Ridge, HTC has modern fiber to the home, not copper. The box on the side of the house provides battery backup (since it's a fiber line, not copper) and converts signals. Internet service enters the house as a standard Ethernet connection (no cable modem in your house needed).

Like other phone companies (and unlike most cable companies), HTC's Internet service DOES allow servers, and, for an additional fee, you can get a static IP address.

In return for exclusivity, the HOA gets a check from HTC each year for a portion of the money paid to HTC by us. This has generally been thousands of dollars a year.

As a co-op, HTC also returns to each customer each year a portion of what they paid HTC during the previous 12 months. The amount varies.

Bill pay: HTC does not charge a fee for paying your bill with credit card, but there is currently no option for automatic bill pay to a credit card.

Please visit HTC's website for their services and prices.

2. HOA dues

For 2019, Homeowners Association dues are $132/month. Dues for 2020 will drop to $115/month. Dues are the same for all. 30% of the 2019 dues are for the Reserve fund according to the 2019 Budget.

3. Taxes

3.1 Property taxes

West Ridge is in Horry County, but outside the city limits of Conway, so we are not subject to Conway City taxes. County tax rates have 3 parts:

Subtract any credits, such as the School Tax Credit.

The School Tax Credit (see Act 388 of 2006) is an exemption from the school operating millage on the total assessed value of your residential property. South Carolina law allows this exemption for taxpayers who own the home in which they reside and are claiming legal residence. This is an automatic exemption for homeowners who have been granted the 4% legal residence ratio.

If you rent out the property, you are also subject to personal property tax on the value of your contents in the house, and perhaps the hospitality tax on the rent.

Example: An owner-occupied home assessed for 2017 at $200,000 would be taxed at $200,000 * 0.04 * 0.212 = $1696. However, the School Tax Credit of some $950 for such homeowners brings the final bill down to about $750.

Reassessments of property values occur every few years. Unless the home has recently been sold, in which case the sale price is used, the assessed value is usually a bit under actual resale value so that people will be less likely to challenge the assessment.

3.2 Sales taxes

3.3 Income taxes

There are no local income taxes.

South Carolina has a graduated income tax that uses your Federal Taxable Income (FTI) (income after deductions), with adjustments.

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