News briefs for July 27th-August 2nd

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Setoff debt letters mailed on July 13

Notification letters have been sent to taxpayers whose delinquent taxes are being submitted to the Department of Revenue’s Setoff Debt program. 

In accordance with South Carolina State Statute, the Setoff Debt program allows the Treasurer’s Office to collect on outstanding debt by garnishing the South Carolina state income tax refunds of delinquent taxpayers. 

Affected taxpayers have 30 days from the date of their letter to protest in writing, which may be done by mail, in-person or online. This notice allows them time to resolve the delinquent balance and potentially avoid their income tax refunds being garnished. 

“Since the inception of the Setoff Debt Program, the Treasurer’s Office has collected over $1.2 million and an even greater amount of delinquent taxes have been removed and resolved. Our intent is to pursue delinquent taxes effectively,” according to a release. 

“Although this often means collecting on a delinquent amount, this can also mean the removal or resolution of a delinquent tax. My staff and I are available to answer questions and I encourage taxpayers who would like to dispute the validity of their debt to file a timely protest,” said Maria Walls, CPA, Beaufort County treasurer. 

All taxpayers are encouraged to make sure their mailing address is up-to-date with the Treasurer’s Office. 

For additional information and resources regarding Setoff Debt and resolving delinquent taxes, visit

Reconstruction monument planning underway  

The National Park Service (NPS) is holding public forums in the South Carolina Lowcountry to begin establishing a framework for managing the new Reconstruction Era National Monument.

These open houses are part of a comprehensive planning process that will also include targeted stakeholder meetings, research and analysis that contribute to the development of an NPS foundation document. 

The final meeting will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 27, at the Tabernacle Baptist Church, 907 Craven St.

A foundation document identifies a national park unit’s core purpose and significance, its most important resources and values, and the interpretive themes that tell its unique and significant American story.  

“The foundation document will be critical to helping the National Park Service map out management plans and priorities for the new park,” said Reconstruction Era National Monument Superintendent Melissa English-Rias. “We are inviting the public to play a role in shaping the park’s future operations.”

Public commenting is also available through Friday, Aug. 18, at,; by email at; by phone at 404-227-1507; and by mail to Reconstruction Era National Monument, P.O. Box 1719, Beaufort, SC 29901

Treasurer’s Office to hold online auction

The Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office will auction properties owned by the Beaufort County Forfeited Land Commission (FLC) in an online auction through Meares Auction Group. 

All properties auctioned are available for immediate title. 

“Our goal is to return FLC property into the hands of tax-paying citizens,” said Maria Walls, Beaufort County treasurer. “As the only county conducting online auctions of property, this is another way we are leveraging technology to work smarter. Conducting an online auction generates interest beyond what an in-person auction would create and since all of the properties being auctioned are available for immediate title, we can transfer title to the successful bidder almost immediately.”

Properties will be auctioned using a timed bidding process with pre-bidding starting at 8 a.m. Monday, July 31, and the auction closing at noon Thursday, Aug. 10.

Visit Meares Auction Group’s website at to register to bid. Additional information may be obtained on the Forfeited Land Commission page on

Cultural board has a vacancy

The city of Beaufort is soliciting applications from individuals for an at-large vacancy, who live or work in the cultural district to serve on the Cultural District Advisory Board. 

The Cultural District is a walkable section of downtown that encompasses a wide array of art and culture venues, organizations, businesses and events.

The district has been designated by the SC Arts Commission as part of the state and national movement to utilize clusters of cultural assets to increase tourism and economic vitality through recognition and promotion of history, arts and culture. 

Beaufort’s District is administered by the city’s Cultural District Advisory Board, which fosters collaboration and cohesiveness in district marketing and identity. 

The CDAB hosts monthly meetings at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at Beaufort City Hall. 

Call Bonnie Hargrove, chairwoman of the Cultural District advisory board, at 843-521-4145; or Linda Roper, city of Beaufort staff liaison, at 843-525-7084.

Mosquito spraying may take place through July 30

Beaufort County Mosquito Control may conduct aerial training, surveillance, and/or spray missions that may include the application of EPA-registered public health insecticides during daylight hours through Friday, July 30.

It uses low-flying aircraft and its aerial spraying is dependent upon ideal weather.  It does not treat the salt marsh habitats for adult mosquitoes during these aerial operations. 

For additional information, call 843-255-5800.