Skip to main content

B2B The Grand Strand

Monthly Musings on Delinquent Taxpayers, Hurricane Coast States

Jun 03, 2024 05:45AM ● By David Dykes

Hundreds of South Carolina's top delinquent taxpayers paid the state more than $12.3 million in 2023 after their debts were listed online, an increase of almost $4 million over the previous year's payments, according to the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

Over the past four years, delinquent taxpayers whose names were included on the department's Top Delinquent Taxpayers lists have paid a total of more than $37.9 million in money owed to the state as a direct result of the SCDOR's Top Delinquent Taxpayers program. 

The SCDOR launched the Top Delinquent Taxpayers lists, which include the state's top individual and business delinquent taxpayers, in 2020. The SCDOR publicly lists the names to provide transparency, fairness, and accountability. The lists can be found at

Individual delinquent taxpayers on the lists as of May 7, 2024, owed a total of $65.7 million in state taxes. Delinquent business taxpayers on the list owed a total of $42.3 million. Each taxpayer on the Top Delinquent Taxpayers lists is in tax lien status, making these debts public.

“Our state's financial health depends on tax revenues," said SCDOR Director Hartley Powell.  “When noncompliant taxpayers fail to pay their tax bills, everyone suffers. So, holding delinquent taxpayers accountable is an important public service."

Top 5 counties with the most individual tax debt:

1.      Charleston - $6.7 million

2.      Horry – $6.6 million

3.      Greenville – $6.4 million

4.      Spartanburg – $3.6 million

5.      Lexington – $3.4 million.

Individual tax debt by region:

1.      Lowcountry – $13.7 million

2.      Upstate – $12.5 million

3.      Midlands – $8.7 million

4.      Pee Dee – $8.4 million.

Individual tax debt on the list ranged up to $2.97 million. The largest business tax debt on the list totaled more than $4.49 million. Eleven individual delinquent taxpayers owed more than $1 million, while three businesses owed at least that amount.

In 2023, those on the Top Delinquent Taxpayers Lists paid approximately $12.3 million to the SCDOR, including $10.3 million in lien payments and almost $2 million in payment plan payments. Delinquent business taxpayers paid $8.9 million, while individual delinquent taxpayers paid $3.4 million.

Taxpayers are excluded from the lists if they… 

·        Have filed for bankruptcy protection.

·        Have a payment plan arrangement with the SCDOR.

·        Are in the GEAR or Setoff Debt programs.

·        Before names are published, the SCDOR exhausts efforts to collect these debts and help these taxpayers comply.

The list is updated quarterly, so the current amount of tax, penalty, and interest due may differ from the listed amount because of partial payments or accrual of additional penalty and interest. Learn more about the SCDOR's Top Delinquent Taxpayers Lists at

Rating the States

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) earlier this year released the fifth edition of Rating the States, which evaluates building code adoption, enforcement, and contractor licensing in the 18 states along the hurricane coastline from Texas to Maine. 

The signature study found that while some states work to ensure homes are resilient against extreme weather, many communities remain vulnerable because state or local jurisdictions have failed to adopt or enforce modern building codes or have allowed their codes to lapse and become outdated.

The official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin began June 1.

“Most people trust their state, city, or town has rules or codes to ensure homes are built to be safe and strong,” said IBHS CEO Roy Wright. “Yet, despite their proven effectiveness, less than 35 percent of Americans live in communities with an adopted modern building code.”

IBHS conducts Rating the States every three years to coincide with the building code cycle. It ranks each state on a 100-point scale by analyzing specific factors in the current code environment that influence windstorm resilience. The report details best practices in residential-related building regulations, providing a roadmap each state can follow to improve its ability to mitigate damage from severe windstorms.

After two consecutive second-place finishes, Virginia topped the 2024 Rating the States rankings with a record-setting score of 96. It climbed back to the top spot after adopting the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) and improving training programs for code officials and contractors. Florida, which has held the top spot since 2018 and matched its 2021 score of 95, slipped behind Virginia in this year’s ratings.

South Carolina — identified as the “state to watch” in the 2021 report — ranked third in this year’s Rating the States, and New Jersey followed in fourth.

Louisiana jumped three spots to fifth place after making training mandatory for code officials and adopting the 2021 IRC. The state also showed its commitment to resilient construction and re-roofing when it launched the Fortify Louisiana Homes program, which provides grants to help homeowners upgrade their roofs to the voluntary, beyond-code FORTIFIED standard. With a score of 90, Connecticut rounds out the top third of the list.

North Carolina lost three points in this year’s Rating the States study and was eighth in the rankings.

Mississippi had the biggest overall improvement since 2021, gaining 15 points by requiring licensing, competency testing, and continuing education for contractors. However, the requirements don’t apply to roofers, and the state, ranked 15th, is still in the bottom third of the ratings. Likewise, Delaware gained six points since the 2021 report but continues to sit at the bottom of the rankings with just 23 points. The rest of the bottom-third includes New Hampshire (13th), Maine (14th), Texas (16th) and Alabama (17th).

Since 2008, no state in the report has adopted a new residential code and enacted uniform statewide enforcement of that code, according to IBHS officials. In the absence of statewide codes, local jurisdictions must fill the gap. This patchwork of code adoption leads to even greater inconsistencies in construction and leaves some communities far more vulnerable to extreme weather than others, the officials said.

Hard-working teachers

A new report from RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, found that pre-K-12 teachers worked more than desired during the Covid-19 pandemic at higher rates than non-teachers. The report also reveals sharp disparities in the experiences of female, Black and Hispanic teachers during Covid-19.

"While we already knew teachers really struggled during Covid-19, our paper shows that the burden was not equally shared," said Erin Dunlop Velez, Ph.D., a director of education research at RTI who led the analysis.

The findings revealed that teachers reported working more than desired due to the pandemic at higher rates than non-teachers (31 percent vs. 26 percent). Teachers also pursued additional training due to the pandemic at higher rates than non-teachers (19 percent vs. 13 percent). The longer hours and additional training may have been to learn how to provide remote instruction and navigate increased student and administrative demands, Velez and her co-authors note.

Additionally, the data showed that teachers were more likely than non-teachers to postpone having children (10 percent vs. 7 percent) and to delay enrolling in additional education (19 percent vs. 12 percent) due to the pandemic.

The research team also uncovered various gender and racial disparities within the profession:

·        Compared to male teachers, female teachers reported working more than desired at higher rates (33 percent vs. 24 percent), were more likely to delay enrolling in additional education (20 percent vs. 14 percent), and reported taking on additional care responsibilities for children and other family members at higher rates (16 percent vs. 11 percent).

·        Black teachers were more likely than white teachers to pursue additional training during the pandemic (27 percent vs. 18 percent) and to report having more difficulty affording essential expenses (22 percent vs. 8 percent).

·        Hispanic or Latinx teachers were more likely than white teachers to delay enrolling in additional education during the pandemic (27 percent vs. 15 percent), delay having children (20 percent vs. 7 percent), report taking on additional care responsibilities for children and other family members (20 percent vs. 13 percent), and report having difficulty affording essential expenses (14 percent vs. 8 percent).

Velez and her colleagues write that these findings "might be related to the disproportionate numbers of Black and Hispanic teachers serving school districts with fewer resources … as well as racial inequities in the teacher labor market disparities that were likely exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic."

Furman’s strategic plan

Furman University has launched a five-year strategic plan to strengthen its position as a university of innovation and impact, foster a thriving community, and ensure a sustainable future, President Elizabeth Davis announced in May.

The “FUture Focused” strategic plan will guide Furman and its faculty and staff through 2029. Recognized nationally for The Furman Advantage and other transformative academic programs, the liberal arts and sciences university will expand and enhance its focus on providing world-class opportunities to every student, strengthen its dedication to a student-focused academic experience, and deepen its community impact.

“Our strategic plan is our commitment to elevating excellence, innovation, and the holistic development of our students and our community,” Davis said.

Furman officials said the “FUture Focused” strategic plan outlines a roadmap for continued excellence, innovation and community impact, prioritizing individualized and innovative learning, a thriving community, and a sustainable future through three pillars:

·        Priority One: University of Innovation and Impact

Position Furman as a premier liberal arts and sciences university recognized for delivering a high-value, individualized learning experience through the teacher-scholar model, a culture of innovation, and thought leadership.

·        Priority Two: Thriving Community

Cultivate a vibrant, interconnected community where students, faculty, and staff flourish, engagement thrives, and well-being is prioritized.

·        Priority Three: Sustainable Future

Foster a dynamic and sustainable future as Furman enters its third century (which begins in 2026).

The Furman Board of Trustees unanimously approved the “FUture Focused” strategic plan during its spring meeting in May. The Furman faculty endorsed the plan in April.

The planning process started in February 2023 with a “Community Day” workshop that brought faculty and staff together to share ideas and establish priorities for the plan. A Strategic Planning Team, co-led by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Beth Pontari and Vice President for Student Life Connie Carson, included a cross-section of faculty and staff who created the plan between October and December 2023. 

The team incorporated additional feedback in February and March from trustees and the campus community.

Working groups will convene and begin to implement the plan this summer.

Upcoming Events Near You

No Events in the next 21 days.