Fort Mill School District
2233 Deerfield Drive, Fort Mill, SC 29715
P: (803) 548-2527 | F: (803) 547-4696
Transportation: (803) 802-1998

Impact Fee 101
Impact Fee 101
Posted on 05/15/2018

**UPDATE: The Fort Mill School District Impact fee passed third reading at the York County Council Meeting on July 16, by a 6-1 vote in favor. The fee will now be instituted on all new construction at $18,158 per single family home and $12,020 per unit for multifamily dwellings.

Thank you to the County Council and our community for your continued support of the Fort Mill School District.

What is an Impact Fee?

An impact fee is a fee that is imposed by a local government on a new or proposed development project to pay for all or a portion of the costs of providing public services to the new development. These fees are collected on new construction only. These fees are designed for new development to help pay for the higher cost associated with the expansion of the community, such as the need for new schools to accommodate new students.

Click here for a quick look at the myths and facts about impact fees. 

Impact Fee Facts

Under South Carolina Law:

Basic legal requirements are need, benefit, and proportionality.

Must spend funds within 3 years of scheduled construction date.

Publish an Annual Monitoring Report.

Review and update every 5 years.

Fee changes require an updated study.

Requires an analysis of the effect on affordable housing in the district.


Impact Fee History

In 1996 the York County school districts were giving the option to institute an impact fee on new construction homes. The Fort Mill School District was the only district to move forward with implementation of the fee. At that time, a study was conducted to estimate the growth and determine the amount of the fee. The study projected that the district would need 1.68 new elementary schools, 0.86 new middle schools, and 0.66 new high schools by the year 2020. The fee was set at $2500 per dwelling. (Since that time, the district has actually constructed 7 new elementary schools, 5 new middle schools, and 2 new high schools prior to 2020 with 3 more recently approved.)

Shortly after the impact fee was implemented the State passed legislation that did not allow the creation of any new impact fees. The legislation did allow the new fee implemented by the district to continue to be collected but did not allow for any modification of the fee.

In 2016 the state passed the South Carolina Development Impact Fee Act (State law Title 6, Article 9, Section 6-1-910) that again allowed counties to implement impact fees on new development.

In the fall of 2017 the Fort Mill School District presented information to the county detailing the need for an increase in the impact fees collected due to the growth in the district. The district, in conjunction with the county, has recently completed a study to assess the need for an impact fee in our area with the nationally recognized TichserBise firm. The study has shown that based on the growth in our area and under the statutes of the new law, a maximum allowable impact fee of $18,158 for single family homes and $12,020 per unit for multifamily dwellings is recommended for implementation. The resolution passed by the school board is linked below.

Click here to view resolution. 

On June 27, the impact fee ordinance passed second reading by the York County Council and has been raised from the $5,038 recommended by the York County Planning Commission based on a 1996 study to the $18,158 for single family homes and$12,020 per unit for multifamily dwellings recommended in the 2018 impact fee study.

On July 16, the impact fee ordinance passed third reading by the York County Council and will now be instituted. 

Growth In Our Area

The growth in the Fort Mill School District has far exceeded the original estimates of the 1996 study. The district’s student population has grown at an average annual rate of 6% from 5,929 students in 2002 to more than 15,000 in 2018. This is the highest rate of growth per capita in our state. In order to deal with the rapid growth in certain areas of the district, enrollment freezes have been placed on schools who's student population is exceeding the capacity. Our community has continued to support the the district by passing $653.3 million in bonds to build or expand schools since 1996 to accommodate the growth. 


Tax Implications

The passage of the impact fee could have a large effect on the residential and commercial tax payers. Depending on the amount of the fee approved by the County Council, tax payers could see up to a 54% reduction in their current debt service tax assessments. The money collected from the impact fees will go directly toward building projects, resulting in a debt millage reduction for tax payers.