Education

Dropping your kids off at school? The auditor is watching you

On the first day of school, out-of-state parents should be ready to pay.

The Horry County Auditor’s Office will began searching school drive-through lines for out-of-state vehicle tags.

People living in South Carolina are required to register their automobiles and pay vehicle taxes within 45 days of moving.

The local people, they’ll give me a thumbs up when I’m driving through. I’ve had some people give me… a different finger.

Auditor’s office investigator Toby Clardy

According to Horry County Auditor Lois Eargle, the auditor’s office issued 847 letters and collected $171,893 in taxes during the last school year, the most ever collected during a school year.

“We feel like if these folks that are dropping their children off at the schools and they’re riding around in out-of-state tags, then they’re taking away from the county, the schools and the children because the majority of the money that’s collected in taxes goes to the schools,” said Eargle.

Everybody needs to pay their fair share so that your taxes won’t have to go up so high.

Horry County Auditor Lois Eargle

Eargle has been auditor since 1993, and she started the school-checking program in the late 1990s.

“It just bothered me that people were riding around in out-of-state tags,” she said. “Everybody needs to pay their fair share so that your taxes won’t have to go up so high.”

The auditor’s office investigators will cover 10 schools on Wednesday, looking for out-of-state tags, and will cover all the schools in about two months.

The investigators work with the school district to identify the owners of those vehicles, said investigator Toby Clardy, but he wouldn’t say which school the investigators will be look at.

“The local people, they’ll give me a thumbs up when I’m driving through,” Clardy said. “I’ve had some people give me… a different finger. They’re mad.”

Christian Boschult: 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian

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