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Rainsford Responds to Delinquent Taxes, Resigns as ECDC Chairman
web posted December 14, 2010
Responding to your article of December
9, 2010 in regard to the unpaid property taxes at Mount Vintage, I
certainly acknowledge that the unprecedented slump in real estate has
caused the Mount Vintage companies and me personally substantial
I did not anticipate that any slump would be nearly this long or this
deep. As a result, I have been dealt the most difficult challenge
that I have faced in my nearly thirty-five years in business. It
is my hope and expectation that somehow we will get beyond the current
problems and reposition Mount Vintage to grow and prosper to the
benefit of the residents there and to the county at large.
However, county citizens should need to be aware that – in any event –
the unpaid taxes will ultimately be collected, as the lien of these
taxes will take precedence over any other liens, including first
mortgage liens. Additionally, given the penalties and interest which
are charged on unpaid taxes, the county stands to benefit substantially
from the late payment of these and other late taxes.
Since you have raised the question of the County’s need for tax
revenue, county citizens may be interested to know that, prior to my
involvement with the area which is now within Mount Vintage, this
property produced approximately $15,000 in annual tax revenue.
Today, it produces approximately $1.4 million in annual tax revenue.
That is not such a bad deal for the county. Additionally, the other
commercial and industrial activities in which I have been involved in
Edgefield County over the last thirty-five years produce another
$500,000 to $600,000 in annual tax revenue. Thus, the county currently
benefits to the tune of approximately $2 million annually for my
efforts over the years. Not too bad for a “deadbeat” as you have termed
You seem to be extraordinarily bothered by the fact that I serve as the
Chairman of the Economic Development Committee of the County. Indeed, I
have been privileged to serve in this capacity for a number of years.
Our Committee consists of representatives of our County Council, the
towns of Edgefield, Johnston and Trenton, our Water & Sewer
Authority, our School Board, our County Administrator, our Chief
Building Official and others invited by our County Council
The Committee meets monthly with the staff of the Economic Development
Partnership of Aiken and Edgefield Counties to discuss economic
development strategies, opportunities and problems. While I have
been disappointed that we have not produced more positive results than
we have, I am deeply appreciative for the time and positive input of
our Committee members and believe that we have kept a regular and
consistent focus on the economic development challenges for Edgefield
You and I do agree on one thing, albeit for far different reasons: The
time has come for me to resign from this Committee and to give others
the chance to serve. Therefore, I will be tendering my resignation as
Chairman and Member of the Economic Development Committee effective
December 31, 2010.
However, those who know me will know that I will continue, as a private
citizen, to work for the progress and prosperity of Edgefield County to
the maximum extent of my abilities.
Bettis C. Rainsford
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