Hilton Head Island sues Beaufort County over law enforcement service fee

Local News

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – The Town of Hilton Head Island has officially sued Beaufort County over a proposed uniform law enforcement service charge.

The charge would collect an additional $4.3 million in revenue for Beaufort County on top of the approximately $52,000,000 that it already receives annually from Hilton Head Island taxpayers. 

Read the full complaint, filed Friday, HERE.

Previous story, posted Aug. 31, below.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – The Hilton Head Island Town Council voted unanimously Monday to pursue legal action to keep Beaufort County from imposing a uniform law enforcement service charge to collect an additional $4.3 million in revenue for sheriff’s office services.

Town Council discussed the matter at an executive session, then voted 7-0 in open session for the “Town to take all necessary action to protect the interests of the citizens of Hilton Head Island with regards to imposition of the County’s Uniform Law Enforcement Service Charge.”

“We have tried to work with County Council and County officials to come up with reasonable alternatives to equitably recognize the substantial contributions of Hilton Head Island residents in paying for law enforcement services – the same level of services that all Beaufort County residents receive,” Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann said. “However, they are unwilling to negotiate acceptable terms. County Council passed an ordinance to collect law enforcement fees on top of what our residents already pay. That is simply unfair. We want our residents to be treated fairly when it comes to paying their share of taxes.”

Town Manager Steve Riley said actions would involve seeking an injunction and filing a lawsuit in the coming days to block implementation and collection of this new service charge.

“Even though we have been forced into taking this action, we remain committed to continuing discussions with County officials to hopefully resolve the issue,” Riley said.

On Monday, Aug. 24, the Beaufort County Council voted to impose the uniform law enforcement service charge only for the Town of Hilton Head Island. This charge would generate surplus revenue for Beaufort County on top of the approximately $52,000,000 that it already receives annually from Hilton Head Island taxpayers. 

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