Census means less state money for 35 South Carolina counties

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The 2020 U.S. Census numbers mean less state funding for 35 of South Carolina’s 46 counties.

The Local Government Fund provides money to counties based off their share of the state population. South Carolina grew 10.7% from 2010 to 2020, so only counties that grew faster than that rate will see more money.

Those 11 counties are: Horry, Berkeley, York, Greenville, Charleston, Spartanburg, Lancaster, Dorchester, Beaufort, Lexington and Jasper counties, The Post and Courier reported.

So even some counties that grew in population, like Richland or Oconee, will still see their share of the state funding pie reduced.

The Local Government Fund only makes up a small part of the budgets of most counties.

Horry County, home to the Myrtle Beach area, will gain the most, at an additional $2.1 million. But that’s just 1% of the county’s budget.

Orangeburg County will lose the most, at $738,552.

But the state has also put in place a new program to offset some losses in slow-growing, more rural counties.

That will take some of the sting off the $590,434 that Florence County is losing out on after its population nearly stayed the same over the past decade. But it still is a hole in the budget, Florence County Administrator K.G. “Rusty” Smith Jr. said.

“Half a million dollars is substantial when you look at it,” Smith said.

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