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The Bailey Bill is a special property tax incentive for rehabilitating historic buildings. If a property owner invests a minimum of 75% of their building’s assessed value back into the building, and the work is eligible and approved, then the assessed value of the property is “frozen” at the pre-rehabilitation value for the next 10 years.
Properties must meet at least one of the following criteria:
The minimum investment is 75% of the Fair Market Value of the building. This is typically the Beaufort County Tax Assessor's assessed value of the structure. It can also be a recent appraisal (within 45 days of the application).
Work proposed will be reviewed in accordance with “Expenditures for Rehabilitation” as defined by South Carolina (SC) 12-120.D. "Expenditures for rehabilitation" means the actual costs of rehabilitation relating to one or more of the following:
Bailey Bill applications cost $150 for single family residences and duplexes, and $300 for all other types of buildings. The first Historic Review Board application fee will be waived.
Building a better Beaufort is the goal of a $30 million investment in Boundary Street to create a safer and more scenic entry to the city, provide better commercial and retail locations, and improve traffic conditions.
A financial impact analysis indicates the local economy will see $5 in benefits for every $1 invested in the Boundary Street Redevelopment District.
The project includes:
The work is part of a larger effort to reconfigure Beaufort from near the Marine Corps Air Station to annexed areas of Lady’s Island, thus creating a unified and connected neighborhood designed for people, not just cars.
The Streetscape project will go from Neil Road to Greenlawn Drive. The utility work will extend to Ribaut Road. There will be no work done east of Ribaut Road.
The streetscape for the area between Greenlawn Drive and Ribaut Road will be done in the future when the City can secure funding.
Construction started in early January 2016. The entire project, approximately 1.5 miles including side road improvements, is expected to be substantially complete in 2018.
Project management will work to keep traffic disruptions to a minimum throughout this project, but some delays are inevitable. For daily updates, visit the Boundary Street Update page. Local media will be asked to share regular updates and announcements about lane closures or traffic pattern changes.
It is anticipated that a significant portion of the necessary work will occur at night to minimize traffic disruptions. The current lane-closure rules are:
To minimize impact on business along the construction path, it will be a priority for contractors to maintain access to driveways and store entrances throughout the project. Please pay extra attention when driving through the construction zone.
Currently, US 21/Boundary Street consists of two 12-foot travel lanes in each direction separated by a single 15-foot two-way left turn lane. The roadway serves approximately 40,000 vehicles per day.
The updated and improved US 21/Boundary Street will consist of two 11-foot travel lanes in each direction separated by a 17-foot raised landscaped median with a sidewalk on the north shoulder and 10-foot multi-use path on the south shoulder.
There will still be a total of four traffic lanes on Boundary Street, two in each direction. In an emergency, three, or even all four of the lanes, can be reconfigured to help people evacuate the area.
During construction, the speed limit will be reduced to 35 miles per hour for the safety of workers. Speeding fines may be increased, and enforcement is needed to ensure the safety of work crews in the work zone. Once constructions is over, the speed limit is expected to return to 40 miles per hour.
Numerous studies have shown roadways with divided medians to be significantly safer than roadways with center turn lanes. Publications such as the Highway Safety Manual (American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials) and the Access Management Manual (Transportation Research Board) cover these safety benefits in depth.
The median breaks are located to utilize the existing and proposed street network and parallel streets to form a complete network of interconnected blocks and streets. This plan is designed to improve traffic flow from Boundary Street to the various street alternatives.
Improving safety is a key point for this project. Adding the landscaped medians will make Boundary Street safer for drivers and pedestrians. Additionally, a side benefit is that it creates a more visually pleasing entrance to City of Beaufort and its National Historic Landmark District.
Landscaping will be designed to minimize maintenance costs.
A key vision for the Boundary Street Corridor is a network of walkable routes to be built north of Boundary Street. Along wider sections of Polk, there will be parallel parking on both sides of the street, narrowing to parking on only one side (the northern side) as the road moves closer to Ribaut Road. Sidewalks will be built.
In February 2012, a video classification of traffic was conducted and found that 98% of vehicles traveling the Boundary Street Corridor were passenger vehicles, 1.5% were single unit trucks, and less than 1% were combination tractor-trailers. The improvements for Boundary Street and South Carolina (SC) 170 are designed to accommodate single unit trucks and intermediate tractor trailers.
Periodic breaks in landscaping will allow for median crossings by emergency vehicles. Also, emergency responders will develop response plans that take into account the geometry of the improved road. The Beaufort Fire Department and Police headquarters are located near the intersection of Ribaut Road and Boundary Street, putting them extremely close to the affected portions of Boundary Street.
Traffic signals will include an emergency vehicle pre-emption system to improve response times, reduce potential for crashes and minimize obstructions to emergency vehicles along the corridor. This system coordinates green lights for responding emergency vehicles. Opposing and conflicting traffic lanes are given red lights.
In addition to these design features, the parallel road and system of gridded streets will be useful for emergency vehicle access. Also, the raised median doesn’t preclude the use of all four lanes for outbound traffic in times of evacuation.
The anticipated economic benefits to business owners along the improved section of Boundary Street Include:
Analysts expect a $5 benefit for every $1 invested in the Boundary Street Redevelopment District.
The total estimated cost to develop and build this important safety project is about $32 million. The Boundary Street Redevelopment Corridor project budget is funded through three sources:
The Boundary Street Redevelopment Corridor plans caught eyes at the federal level in 2011 as Beaufort earned the 16th largest Department of Transportation (DOT) grant that year and the largest in South Carolina history. Of the 848 applications for the TIGER III grant in 2011, only 48 were awarded funding; about 6% of the total applications received.
As a part of the National Environmental Policy Act, studies were conducted to assess for the possible effects of this project on the social, cultural, and natural environments. The project may require minimal amounts of bank stabilization along Boundary Street and will include construction of an elevated boardwalk along the marsh line of Battery Creek.
The project won’t result in permanent loss of aquatic function within the marsh or result in any adverse impacts to the natural environment. All necessary environmental certifications and permits will be obtained prior to construction of the project.
A minimum of 13% of all sub-contracting work will be required to go to South Carolina Department of Transportation-approved Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).
View a diagram of the planned traffic signals and intersections (PDF). A few high points include:
No; the Traffic Study that was conducted as part of the 2009 Boundary Street Improvements Feasibility Study indicated that a roundabout at the South Carolina (SC) 170 and US 21/Boundary Street intersection wouldn’t function adequately due to the high traffic volumes. The intersection will remain under signal control.
A roundabout originally planned for the intersection of Ribaut Road and Boundary has also been postponed.
Yes, for the affected section of Boundary Street, overhead utility lines will be moved below ground.
To improve safety and the appearance of this main entry to Beaufort, utility companies agreed in the Summer of 2014 to move their various lines and cables from overhead poles into an underground “duct bank." This applies to the area between Neil Road and the City Hall/Beaufort County Government Complex at Ribaut Road. The poles will be removed as well.
The end result will be a safer road for drivers, a more attractive entrance to the City of Beaufort, and a lower chance of utility lines being knocked down by storms.
1. A permit is required for most work / improvements (excluding some interior remodeling including painting, doors, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work).
2. General Contractor requirements:
3. Electrical, Plumbing, Gas, and Mechanical Contractors:
A homeowner who owns his own home and lives there and is performing work himself may be issued a permit (after completing a Disclosure Statement and having it recorded at the Register of Deed's office). A homeowner cannot work on a home he owns that is for rent or for sale per Section 40-11-360(5) of the Contractors' Licensing Act.
Any individual performing work on someone else's property is considered a contractor and is required to have the items listed in numbers 1 and 2.
If a contractor requests that the owner obtain the permit, please don't. If this happens, the contractor may not be properly licensed, bonded, and therefore may not want to be responsible for his work. If you have any doubt as to a contractor's qualifications, please do not hesitate to call 525-7040.
As a homeowner, you can be your own contractor, as long as you comply with state law.
But before you do anything, call the Building Codes Office (843-525-7040) to see if a permit is required before beginning any work.
Permits are required if you, as the homeowner, or your authorized agent (your contractor), intend to:
South Carolina state law requires work to be performed by an appropriately licensed contractor. A homeowner may act as their own contractor as long as they are in compliance with South Carolina state law (40-59-260). The state law exception will require that a homeowner’s disclosure statement be completed with the Beaufort County Register of Deed’s office and submitted along with the permit application.
The reason for the permits is a simple one. It is to ensure adequate maintenance of buildings and to adequately protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people and to ensure compliance with the applicable regulations. The codes are ever changing and sometimes a homeowner may not be aware of these changes. We ensure that the work is performed properly and meets standards.
A permit is good for 6 months from the date of issue. An extension may be granted if the owner or contractor can provide a reason why the extension is warranted.
You can put your complaint in writing and submit it in one of the following ways:
Every person involved or intending to become involved in any calling, business, occupation, or profession; in total or in part, within the City of Beaufort is required to pay an annual business license fee based on gross income. Gross income is defined as the total revenue a businesses received or accrues during a calendar year collected or to be collected from business done within the city limits Beaufort. Gross income excludes incomes from business done wholly outside of the City of Beaufort on which a license tax is paid to another municipality.
If you live in the City of Beaufort and operate a business from your home, you will need to complete the annual Business License Application and Home Occupation Application (PDF).
Additional requirements include:
Yes, all contractors (defined as) a person, licensee, subcontractor, or business entity that enters into an agreement to perform any service to work to provide a certain product in exchange for valuable consideration (includes, but shall not be limited to a subcontractor, contract employee, or a recruiting or staffing entity), who performs work in the city limits of Beaufort is required to obtain a City Business License (PDF) regardless of whether the business is physically located within city limits or outside the city limits. The contractor's business license fees are abased on the contract amount of the job.
The City offers a 3-year graduated rate for New businesses located within the city limits. This includes:
Business licenses are not transferable from one owner to another. The new owner must apply for a business license in their name.
The City of Beaufort accepts cash, checks, money orders, and credit or debit cards.
With the implementation of our Beaufort Payment Portal, payments can be made conveniently from your computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Except for a Group Event Business Licenses or a Temporary Contractor's License, a company's initial business license is valid from the time they begin operations through December 31st. Every year thereafter, the license requires renewal. Learn more on our City Business License Renewal page.
If you have closed your business, or plan on closing your business, please complete the City of Beaufort Business Closure Form.
View the answer on the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation website.
See the answer at OpenGov.com.
South Carolina in the 1980s established a two percent tax on overnight accommodations in addition to the statewide sales tax. State laws stipulates how those monies are to be allocated.
A small portion of the Accommodations Tax (ATAX) money stays in the local municipality or county where it is collected. The remainder must be used to attract and provide for tourists and must be spent on tourism-related expenditures.
Local revenues from the so-called "bed-tax" are designated to fund programs that promote tourism and attract visitors.
State law providers for local government such as the City of Beaufort to establish advisory committees to review requests for Accommodations Tax revenue and to submit recommendations to the local government body.
The goal was to reduce political pressures and to increase local accountability.
Ultimately, though, the City Council makes the decision on how to spend the money.
The TDAC is an advisory body appointed by Beaufort City Council to:
In Fall 2014, the Tourism Development Advisory Committee included:
Applications were made available August 8 and the deadline for submittal was September 5. Applicants were required to make personal presentations of their requests to the committee on September 15.
For the current year, Fiscal Year 2015, the City of Beaufort allocated $230,000 in accommodations taxes for distribution.
Committee members reviewed each application, considered how the request fit into overall mission to promote tourism within the state's tax guidelines, and then heard in-person presentations from each group seeking funds.
One of the committee's priorities was stretching each grant dollar as far as possible. For instance, marketing materials and promotions that included an Internet component (website, Facebook, other social media, etc.) earned more attention that print-only projects. Projects that demonstrated partnerships with other organizations also earned attention.
The City Council is scheduled to discuss the Tourism Development Advisory Committee's recommendations October 14, 2014 with a final a vote and approval tentatively set for October 28.
For a complete listing of the Tourism Development Advisory Committee's recommendations, please view the TDAC 2015 Recommendations (PDF).
Although City Council may change the grants amounts recommended by the TDAC, the committee's funding list spends all but $16, 725 of the available $230,000. The largest recommended grants were:
South Carolina in the 1980s established a two percent tax on overnight accommodations in addition to the statewide sales tax. State laws stipulates how those monies are to be allocated
State law providers for local government such as the City of Beaufort to establish advisory committees to review requests for Accommodations Tax revenue and to submit recommendations to the local government body.
In Fall 2015, the Tourism Development Advisory Committee included:
Applications were made available August 8 and the deadline for submittal was September 11. Applicants were required to make personal presentations of their requests to the committee on September 16.
For the current year, Fiscal Year 2016, the City of Beaufort allocated $275,518 in accommodations taxes for distribution.
The City Council is scheduled to discuss the Tourism Development Advisory Committee's recommendations September 22, 2015 and October 20, 2015 with a final a vote and approval tentatively set for October 27, 2015.
For a complete listing of the Tourism Development Advisory Committee's recommendations, please view the TDAC Recommendations 2016 (PDF).
Although City Council may change the grants amounts recommended by the TDAC. The largest recommended grants were:
South Carolina in the 1980s established a two % tax on overnight accommodations in addition to the statewide sales tax. State laws stipulates how those monies are to be allocated.
The goal was to reduce political pressures and to increase local accountability.
In Fall 2016, the Tourism Development Advisory Committee included:
Applications were made available August 8 and the deadline for submittal was September 23. Applicants were required to make personal presentations of their requests to the committee on September 30. For the current year, Fiscal Year 2017, the City of Beaufort allocated $282,867.38 in accommodations taxes for distribution.
The City Council is scheduled to discuss the Tourism Development Advisory Committee's recommendations October 18, 2016 with a final a vote and approval tentatively set for October 25, 2016.
For a complete listing of the Tourism Development Advisory Committee's recommendations, please view the TDAC Fiscal Year 2017 Recommendations (PDF).
South Carolina in the 1980s established a two percent tax on overnight accommodations in addition to the statewide sales tax.
State laws stipulates how those monies are to be allocated. A small portion of the Accommodations Tax (ATAX) money stays in the local municipality or county where it is collected. The remainder must be used to attract and provide for tourists and must be spent on tourism-related expenditures.
The Applications were made available on August 10, 2017 with an original application deadline September 15, 2017. Due to the threat from Hurricane Irma, the deadline was extended until September 29, 2017. Public Notices were published in the Island Packet for both the original deadline and the revised deadline. Applicants were required to make personal presentations of their requests to the committee on October 13.
For the current year, Fiscal Year 2018, the City of Beaufort allocated $200,903 in accommodations taxes for distribution.
The City Council is scheduled to discuss the Tourism Development Advisory Committee's recommendations October 24, 2017 with a final a vote and approval on November 14, 2017.
For a complete listing of the Tourism Development Advisory Committee's recommendations, please view the TDAC Recommendations 2018 (PDF).
A hurricane or tropical storm watch means storm conditions are possible in a specified area. This watch is usually issued 48 hours before storm-force winds (39-73 mph or higher) are expected in an area. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal flooding, and/or river flooding.
A hurricane or tropical storm warning means storm conditions are expected in a specified area. This warning is usually issued 36 hours before storm-force winds (39-73 mph or higher) are expected in an area.
The Saffir-Simpson Scale classifies hurricanes by maximum sustained winds. However, please keep in mind a storm may have stronger wind gusts.Categories 1 through 5:
These categories only highlight potential damage and impacts form the wind. This does not address other potential hurricane related impacts, such as storm surge, flooding, and tornadoes.
Please also be mindful to not classify a storm by “just a category X.” There are many variables which can affect the severity of a hurricane such as if it is arrives at high tide. Remember, many factors are in a hurricane equation and each storm and its potential damage is unique. It is always best to err on the side of safety than to take a cavalier attitude towards hurricanes and tropical storms.
In South Carolina, only the governor can issue a mandatory evacuation order. Your local county and municipal officials are following the governor’s directive and may enact local measures to support and augment an evacuation order as needed for public safety.
For our area, the evacuation route will flow north and west. Lane reversals are possible and should be expected during an evacuation. Evacuation routes can be found at https://www.scemd.org/prepare/know-your-zone/.
During a pending storm, early evacuation is encouraged. As a former emergency manager said, “When you see a storm brewing, it’s a perfect time to plan a trip to visit friends or family.” If you leave before an official evacuation order, you can travel freely via any route. Once an evacuation order is issued, you may have to take a prescribed route out of town and endure traffic congestion. If your schedule permits, leaving as soon as you are able can prevent congestion and personal frustration.
The Beaufort County Storm Center is managed by the Beaufort County sheriff, and is the lead emergency management agency for all of Beaufort County. It has a direct link to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, and during emergencies that office coordinates all response activities countywide through the Beaufort County Emergency Operations Center. The County Emergency Operations Center is staffed by critical support functions and representatives from all municipalities and military bases in the county as well as representatives from the Beaufort County School District.
Following the governor’s lifting of an evacuation order, a policy group made up of senior representatives in the Emergency Operations Center provide input to the Beaufort County emergency manager regarding re-entry procedures.
The City of Beaufort follows the directives of Beaufort County Emergency Management during a hurricane or critical incident. The City of Beaufort activates its own Emergency Operations Center, within the Fire Department, and its representatives are available to assist you with information during such an event.
During a hurricane, the City will update its social media accounts frequently to ensure our residents are receiving the most recent, accurate information. Please be mindful to check if the information you are sharing and/or believing is attributed to a reliable source such as state, county or local government agency.
There are NO shelters available in Beaufort County during a hurricane. Beaufort County, also known as the Lowcountry, is comprised of low-lying land surrounded by marshes, rivers and other bodies of water. There are no shelters in Beaufort County due to its flat land and being flood prone.
In previous years, the Red Cross has opened some shelters in Jasper County during storm events. Please call the Red Cross Lowcountry Chapter (843-764-2323) for more information, or follow them on social media.
This brochure from the Beaufort County Storm Center has information on where people can be picked up and brought to a shelter during an evacuation.
Additionally, a list of shelters will be available on https://scemd.org/stay-informed/emergency-shelters/
If you need transportation to a shelter prior to a storm, please call Palmetto Breeze, the Lowcountry’s public transportation system at 843.757.5782. Please plan ahead; its buses cease operation once the storm and/or high winds begin.
Mandatory evacuation orders are issued to save the lives of residents as well as first responders. If you choose to ignore the mandatory evacuation order, be prepared to be self-sufficient during, and for the first 72 hours after, a storm. High winds during storms prohibit travel of emergency response vehicles and debris following storms may also prevent travel. In addition, mandatory evacuations also include closure of hospital facilities. This means medical care is unavailable until after evacuation orders are lifted. Be prepared to be without electrical power as well.
Payments for traffic citations can be made at http://www.beaufortcourt.org/. You must provide your last name and ticket number to pay your fine online. Money Orders, Certified Checks and Cashier’s Checks made payable to the Beaufort Municipal Court and can be mailed to 1901 Boundary Street Beaufort, South Carolina 29902. We do not accept out of state personal checks. Payments can also be made in person at 1901 Boundary Street, Beaufort, SC 29902.
Yes, we take credit/debit cards for fines. We accepted Visa, MasterCard, & American Express.
Official Payments is the leading provider of electronic payment solutions and provides our clients with the most reliable way to process payments. Our network of partnerships including the IRS, 27 states and the District of Columbia, 350 plus colleges and universities, and 3000 plus municipalities enables us to the largest selection of payment services and solutions.
Faster payment via Internet, flexibility to pay credit card balances over time, rewards from card issuers that carry such programs. You'll also have the Satisfaction of knowing your payment has been officially paid through a trusted and secure service provider authorized by the IRS.
By making an electronic payment, customers gain control of their payments. They can pay their obligation over time and on their own schedule. Paying by credit card may provide your customers with use of their money for an additional 30 to 60 days, depending on the credit card billing cycle. Paying by electronic check saves time and effort. Your customers are able to avoid long lines and don’t have to worry about their checks getting lost in the mail.
Depending on the nature of the card reward program, your customers can earn points, miles, or money back for the payments they make. The value of the reward can exceed the cost of the convenience fee incurred. Explore the special offers brought to you by Official Payments and our approved partners by visiting the Official Payments website.
Official Payments charges a convenience fee for processing the payment transaction. This fee is not charged by or paid to our clients. The convenience fee is assessed to cover operating costs and the costs associated with servicing thousands of transactions. Users will be informed of all charges and fees before authorizing the payment.
Yes. Official Payments will calculate and present the convenience fee based on the information you provided. You will also be presented with the Terms and Conditions of using our system. Use the “Accept” button to proceed with the payment or “Decline” to stop the payment process.
The system has been tested and proven. The IRS and more than 3000 state and local governments have chosen Official Payments as an electronic service provider for their customers. The information gathered is private and will not be forwarded to anyone.
You will receive a confirmation number at the end of the transaction. This confirmation number and your card or bank statement will provide confirmation of your payment.
Call Official Payments’ customer service toll free line at 1-800-847-4567. Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish.
It depends. There is a limit of 6% of the properties in a neighborhood that can be licensed as Short Term Rentals. If you live on the premises that you are using as a Short Term Rental the property would not apply against that cap limit. It would be best to contact us to see whether or not that cap limit has been met in your neighborhood.
No. Permission from the property owner is always required. If you are acting as an agent on behalf of the property owner a notarized statement from the property owner is required to complete the application process.
As soon as you become aware of the Ordinance it is in your best interest to cease operations of your Short Term Rental and immediately contact the Business License Division to avoid additional consequences. In order to continue operating your Short Term Rental you must meet all of the requirements, be properly approved and pay a penalty application fee of $1,000. If you are determined ineligible, you must cease operations as a Short Term Rental. Noncompliance will be met with recourse under penalty of law.
No. The City does not maintain a waiting list. It is the responsibility of the property owner to periodically check with the City to determine if a spot has become available in your neighborhood. Applications are reviewed and approved on a first come and first serve basis. All applications are valid for six months from the date of your application.