South Carolina/North Carolina Boundary Program

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An effort to re-establish the 334-mile-long South Carolina-North Carolina boundary that began in 1995 and was completed in 2013.
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Infographic for project to re-establish South Carolina - North Carolina boundary 1996-2013
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently asked questions regarding the re-establishment boundary between North and South Carolina

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When jurisdictional issues arose along the state boundary between York County, SC and Gaston County, NC in the early 1990s, the SC Geodetic Survey and the NC Geodetic Survey signed a Memorandum of Agreement in April 1993 to cooperatively re-establish the South Carolina – North Carolina boundary. The intent was to avoid a litigious dispute, such as occurred between South Carolina and Georgia regarding their boundary in the Lower Savannah River area. That contentious dispute cost the South Carolina $10 million and 26 years of litigation and negotiation, that involved the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, to resolve 25 miles of boundary.

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The effort to technically re-establish the 334-mile-long South Carolina – North Carolina boundary started in 1995 was completed on May 3, 2013 when the NC – SC Joint Boundary Commission approved the technical work for the last 91 miles.  There were approximately 1640 different parcels of property that were impacted with this project.  

The SC and NC Attorney General Offices helped prepare legislation that was passed by the South Carolina and North Carolina legislatures. The legislation reduces and/or eliminates impacts to those property owners whose residency or business would move from South Carolina to North Carolina, or vice versa, because of the re-established state boundary. 

Results of the project include:

  • Residences Split - 47

  • Residences Change States - 19

    • 4 residences have moved from NC into SC

    • 15 residences have moved from SC into NC

  • Commercial/Institutional Building Split - 7
  • Commercial Change States - 2 
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An individual whose state of residency changes as a result of the boundary clarification from North Carolina to South Carolina or from South Carolina to North Carolina must be treated as though the individual moved to or from South Carolina on January 1, 2017.

For businesses whose property location changes from North Carolina to South Carolina or from South Carolina to North Carolina as a result of boundary clarification, for income tax purposes, the property is treated as though the property moved into or out of South Carolina on January 1, 2017.

 

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It is the intent of the General Assembly that when an individual’s residence or a business location is determined to be located in South Carolina rather than North Carolina, where the residence or business had previously been taxed, the individual or business should not be liable for back taxes to South Carolina solely as a result of the clarification. 

Individuals whose residency or taxpayers whose property or business location is considered to have changed from North Carolina to South Carolina solely as a result of the boundary clarification, effective January 1, 2017, are not liable for any taxes for periods prior to the boundary clarification date based solely on a claim that the individual was a resident or the taxpayer’s property or business location was located in South Carolina in the prior year.

 

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Registration for these services, if available, will be taken care of by the respective county officials once your new address has been established.  If your mailing address is not changed, the services you were receiving should not change.   

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Medicaid provider, outside of the geographical boundary of South Carolina but within the South Carolina Medicaid Service Area, as defined by R. 126-300(B) of the Code of State Regulations, prior to January 1, 2017, shall not lose status as a Medicaid provider as a result of the clarification of the South Carolina - North Carolina border.”  The South Carolina Medicaid Service Area is South Carolina and adjacent areas within twenty-five (25) miles of the SC border.

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This can be accomplished when you apply for a new SC Driver’s License.  This is done at the nearest SC Department of Motor Vehicle’s Office. 

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The South Carolina Code of Laws defines South Carolina’s boundary. The boundary has not “moved.”  When creating these local maps, adjacent jurisdictions have used differing resources that have caused gaps, overlaps and inaccurate plotting of the States common boundary, which has led to confusion. 

The boundary between South and North Carolina was created by five surveys between 1735 and 1815 (refer to map below). The first survey began in 1735 and ended in 1737.  The second, third, fourth and fifth occurred in 1764, 1772, 1813, and 1815, respectively. Two hundred years have elapsed since these surveys were completed.  Except for a few stone monuments set during the 1813 and 1815 surveys, the surveyors for the original surveys marked trees to locate the state line. As years passed, when “boundary trees” died or were cut down, neither state made the effort to maintain the boundary with new monuments, resulting in a dubious, unclear, South Carolina – North Carolina boundary.

The technical work to re-establish the boundary used copies of the original survey plats, historical research and extensive land record research to recover evidence that could be used to identify the location of the original boundary as best as possible. Monuments defining the re-established South Carolina – North Carolina are now defined by geographic and state plane coordinates; so that, if a monument is destroyed its position can be relocated using its mathematical coordinates, and conventional or GPS surveying techniques.

SURVEY HISTORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA – NORTH CAROLINA BOUNDARY

Survey history of SCNC Boundary

 

Signed and sealed survey plats were completed for the re-establishment of the state boundary have been recorded at each of the county’s Registry of Deeds Office and copies are available at the SC Department of Archives & History and the SC Geodetic Survey.

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Upon the effective date January 1, 2017, persons residing on property which is determined to be located in North Carolina as a result of the boundary clarification, may enroll their children residing with them in the South Carolina district in which that property was previously believed to be located or in the statewide public charter school district, without charge, as long as the family maintains residence on that same property.

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Upon the effective date of January 1, 2017, property located in whole or in part in North Carolina immediately prior to that date and receiving utility service from a North Carolina utility as defined under North Carolina law, may continue to receive utility service from that utility or its successors although the property is determined to be located in whole or in part in South Carolina as a result of the boundary clarification. The owners of that property have the option of requesting utility service by a similar South Carolina utility if the property is located within that utility’s service area, regardless of whether the property is inside or outside a municipality.

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The South Carolina Geodetic Survey and North Carolina Geodetic Survey were responsible for technically re-establishing the boundary. A NC-SC Joint Boundary Commission was created to oversee and approve the technical work, and the efforts to reduce or eliminate impacts on property owners affected by the re-established boundary. The commission comprised members from the South and North Carolina Geodetic Surveys, senators and representatives from both states’ legislatures, representatives from both states’ Attorney General Offices, and state agency personnel.

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Any other questions or concerns you may have can be answered by using the internet and browsing to the SCIWAY – the South Carolina Information Highway or reaching out to the county assessor’s office.  The URL for the South Carolina Information Highway is:  www.sciway.net

The contact information for the county assessor’s offices is:

  • Cherokee: 864-487-2552
  • Chesterfield: 843-623-7362
  • Dillon: 843-774-1412
  • Horry: 843-915-5040
  • Lancaster: 803-285-6964
  • Marlboro: 843-479-5602
  • Spartanburg: 864-596-2544
  • York: 803-684-8526
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History of Program
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When issues arose regarding the state boundary between York County, SC and Gaston County, NC in the early 1990s, the SC Geodetic Survey and the NC Geodetic Survey signed a Memorandum of Agreement in April 1993 to cooperatively re-establish the South Carolina – North Carolina boundary. 

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The intent was to avoid a litigious dispute, such as occurred between South Carolina and Georgia regarding their boundary in the Lower Savannah River area. This contentious dispute cost the state $10 million and 26 years of litigation and negotiation, that involved the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, to resolve 25 miles of boundary.

The effort to technically re-establish the 334-mile-long South Carolina – North Carolina boundary that was begun in 1995 was completed on May 3, 2013 when the NC – SC Joint Boundary Commission approved the technical work for the last 91 miles.

To be completed are the efforts to reduce and/or eliminate impacts to those property owners whose residency or business would move from South Carolina to North Carolina, or vice versa, because of the re-established state boundary. The SC and NC Attorney General offices are preparing legislation to be introduced into the SC and NC legislatures. When the legislation is enacted by both states, those sections of the SC – NC boundary that have not yet been legally approved will be submitted to the SC General Assembly and to the NC Council of State.

SOUTH CAROLINA BOUNDARY COMMISSION

Authority: H.4810, Part 1B, Proviso 63.52, 2006

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Boundary Plat Recordation Information
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Horry Plat Book 272, page 326
Dillon Plat Book 46, Pages 260 and 261
Marlboro Plat Book 205, pages 1, 2, and 3
Chesterfield Plat Book C, pages 158C, 158D, and 158E
Lancaster Book 2016, pages 883, 884, 885, and 886
York Volume 152, pages 354, 355, 356, and 357
Cherokee Volume 90, pages 100, 101, 102, and 103
Spartanburg Plat Book 171, pages 853, 854, 855, and 856
Greenville Plat Book 1047 pages 90 through 99
Greenville Plat Book 1048 pages 1 through 24
Pickens Plat Book 581, pages 9 through 14
Oconee Plat Book B473, page 6