Post Tagged with: "Horry County Auditor"

Auditor’s Runoff, Who is Best Qualified?

June 21, 2020 10:13 AM
Auditor’s Runoff, Who is Best Qualified?

Lost in the current mudslinging of the SC Senate District 33 runoff election is the runoff for Horry County Auditor, which will also be voted on Tuesday.

Competing are Beth Calhoun, currently the assistant to the Deputy Auditor, and R. A. Johnson, the Deputy Treasurer of Horry County. Johnson’s is a supervisory and leadership position while Calhoun’s is not.

Recently some of the same type of misleading information, though not as dirty as has been put out in the Rankin/Gallman contest, has entered into the Auditor’s race.

Retiring Auditor Lois Eargle endorsed Johnson.  “It is about what I believe is best for the Auditor’s office going forward,” Eargle said. “R.A. better understands the relationships needed between the Assessor’s, Treasurer’s and Auditor’s offices for the county tax and collection system to operate effectively and has participated in many discussions about making those offices work efficiently,” Eargle said.

A recent article in local media had third place finisher Clark Parker endorsing Calhoun with Parker quoted as saying, “I think that Beth is the right person for the job because it is important that the Auditor’s office remains independent.” The story added the following commentary, “The endorsements reflect the different approaches to the auditor’s office: Johnson maintains the position should work in partnership with the treasurer and auditor while Calhoun sees the job as a check on the other positions.”

The Auditor’s Office is not an independent check on the other offices. Parker never did understand the duties of the office even though he was a candidate and it appears neither does Calhoun, even though she has worked in the office for approximately 20 years.

The Auditor’s Office does no auditing. The name, which comes from state law, can be misleading to those not familiar with how the tax system operates.

The Assessor’s Office establishes value to be taxed on real property. The Auditor’s Office establishes value on some non-real property. The Auditor’s Office prepares tax bills based on the information provided by the Assessor’s Office. The Treasurer’s Office collects the taxes established by the Assessor and billed by the Auditor.

Any check and balance in the system comes from the Finance Department, which conducts internal audits and the independent, outside auditing firm contracted each year to audit the county’s books.

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Absurdities of Candidates Coming to the Fore as Primaries Loom

May 28, 2020 8:21 AM
Absurdities of Candidates Coming to the Fore as Primaries Loom

It’s less than two weeks until polling day for the June 9th primary elections and silly season is shifting into the absurd.

There is one candidate who seems less interested in being elected than in spinning crazy conspiracy theories to the voters with her posts. Several of the theories follow the same general lines as the conspiracy Chris Eldridge and Arrigo Carotti attempted to spin on Johnny Gardner just before he took office.

Regardless of the reason or the content of the videos, spinning conspiracy theories and talking trash about politicians and their consultants is not the way to win an election.

The race for Horry County Auditor also had some interesting developments this week.

Clark Parker, who announced his candidacy last August and spent over $35,000 from his campaign account by early January, has been rarely heard from since. Except for a few signs being put out and a couple of posts on his election Facebook page, little has been heard.

Parker was rumored to be suffering from some health problems in March and maybe that is the reason for so little activity.

However, a post went up on Parker’s Facebook yesterday that boggles the mind. The post urged voters to vote in the June 2nd Republican Primary. The main difficulty with that statement is that primary voting at the polls is June 9th.

I really don’t believe this was an attempt at voter suppression, which would be a serious legal problem. I believe it demonstrates a candidate who is so out of touch he doesn’t even know enough about the election to know the correct date. If he could screw up the date of the election, what could he mess up as auditor? Correct dates are very important in preparing tax bills.

This is another example of the Parker campaign being out of touch. Signs were put out by the campaign last fall even though the county limits the time political signs can be placed to 45 days before the election. The Parker campaign has demonstrated a serious deficiency in comprehending dates in the election cycle among other things.

Another auditor candidate and long-time employee of the auditor’s office, Beth Calhoun, was running what seemed to be a good campaign until recently. In her most recent video, Calhoun appears to take a shot at current auditor Lois Eargle by mentioning it’s important to come into the office every day.

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Parker Campaign Stumbles Out of the Gate with Unpaid Taxes and Media Comments – Updated

August 18, 2019 11:36 AM
Parker Campaign Stumbles Out of the Gate with Unpaid Taxes and Media Comments – Updated

Update

Horry County records show Clark Parker paid the three unpaid tax bills referred to below on August 19, 2019.

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Like a racehorse losing a race by stumbling out of the starting gate in his first steps, we may have witnessed the beginning and effective end of the Clark Parker campaign for Horry County Auditor on the day it began.

Parker had his campaign kickoff last Friday. It began with an interview published on the MyHorryNews.com website.

In that interview, Parker said he felt that he could “contribute a lot to the needs of the county” and that it was “important that we collect all our taxes that are due to the county.”

Shortly thereafter it was reported by MyrtleBeachSC.com that Parker had three unpaid county tax bills from tax years 2012, 2017 and 2018. That information is public information available on the horrycounty.org website.

One would expect someone running for public office, especially an office that deals with county taxes and a person who is a certified public accountant by trade, would double check to make sure there are no skeletons in their closet.

There are additional problems with the interview. Parker announced he is running for auditor yet it is the treasurer, not the auditor, who is responsible for collecting taxes. He wouldn’t be involved in that end of the county tax structure so why mention it in an interview?

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Horry County’s ‘Alternative Facts’ Explanation on Tax Notice Billing

August 28, 2018 7:39 PM
Horry County’s ‘Alternative Facts’ Explanation on Tax Notice Billing

It appears Horry County Government is using the Sean Spicer/Kellyanne Conway ‘alternative facts’ method for reporting how Horry County missed billing property taxes on some new car purchases over the last four years.

According to a story reported in MyHorryNews.com earlier today, Horry County failed to process digital records on 4,444 vehicles purchased between 2014-2017, resulting in failure by the county to bill first year property taxes on the vehicles.

According to the story, County spokesperson Kelly Moore blamed the failure on a “technical glitch” and was quoted as saying in part, “New software programs come with a learning curve, and sometimes, unfortunately, with technical difficulties.”

Horry County Auditor Lois Eargle was quoted in the same story, “That was nothing that was fault of the auditor’s office. …  It was the new software that came in.”

The Auditor’s Office is responsible for preparing property tax bills on new car purchases that do not transfer license plates from another vehicle and for entering that information into the computer system.

A letter was prepared by the Auditor’s Office to be sent to the citizens affected by this issue.

The letter, the full text of which is attached to the bottom of this story, reads in part, “We recently discovered an error in the processing system that manages vehicle property taxes. After changing software in 2014, a technical glitch did not send an initial vehicle tax bill to some taxpayers who purchased a new vehicle when they did not transfer license tags.”

The new software was purchased from QS/1 Governmental Solutions whose headquarters is located in Spartanburg, SC.

Reflecting on the story and the county’s explanation of a “technical glitch” that apparently took four years to discover, I called QS/1 Governmental Solutions for an explanation. I spoke with Perry Burnett, Government Senior Account Executive, the QS/1 employee who deals directly with Horry County Government.

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Robert Seth Rabon Withdraws Candidacy

May 2, 2016 2:00 PM
Robert Seth Rabon Withdraws Candidacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aynor – May 2, 2016

Robert Seth Rabon announced today that he is withdrawing his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Horry County Auditor.

The decision to withdraw was made because of deteriorating medical conditions of family members.

Rabon said the decision to withdraw from the Auditor’s race was extremely difficult. It came after much consideration, prayerful thought and discussion with family members.

“Some health problems with family members have recently become much more serious,” said Rabon. “As much as I would like to serve the citizens of Horry County, responding to the needs of my family must be my first consideration.”

“I would like to thank all of my supporters, especially those who have been working so diligently for my election,” Rabon said. “I am sorry I have to take this step, but it is the right thing for me to do at this time.”

Rabon was challenging six term incumbent Lois Eargle for the Republican nomination.

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Lois Eargle, Political Pioneer

December 4, 2011 7:50 PM
Lois Eargle, Political Pioneer

A pioneer for women in public service in Horry County, auditor Lois Eargle hopes her legacy will be that she made things easier for women to be elected to public office.

“I started at a time when it was not normal for women to be involved in public positions and I had some hurdles to clear along the way,” said Eargle.

Her first foray into the public arena came as president of the first Citizen’s Congress, appointed by the governor to recommend reform of the South Carolina judicial system.

“The system had not been changed since the current state constitution was adopted in 1895,” Eargle said. “As a result, every county operated its court system differently. The same crime could be charged in different ways, depending upon what county you were charged
in.”

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