Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Policy Studies

Committee Member

Dr. Kenneth L. Robinson, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Peter T. Gianiodis

Committee Member

Dr. Catherine F. Mobley

Committee Member

Dr. Julia L. Sharp

Committee Member

Dr. Holley H. Ulbrich


Much has been learned in the literature about property tax base erosion in larger states. However for the most part, the research is limited to states with more urban populations than states like South Carolina. To address this gap, this research investigates two sources property tax base erosion in South Carolina including property tax incentives for business location and property tax exemptions for nonprofit organizations. State and local governments use several types of property tax incentives to attract new and expanding firms. The use of property tax incentives has resulted in local governments foregoing billions of dollars in tax revenue annually with limited fiscal impact analysis. A survey method with embedded interview approach was utilized to determine that the local government impact analysis of property tax incentive use is not adequate in South Carolina. A study of two large scale development projects appears to support findings in the literature that businesses value attributes like infrastructure and the presence of a qualified labor force over property tax incentives. Property tax exemptions for nonprofit organizations primarily impact municipalities. South Carolina municipalities have the authority to decide which organizations receive property tax exemptions. Many nonprofit organizations provide valuable charitable services while others serve a narrower client base. Some nonprofit organizations are large consumers of municipal services and others do not own property. This research finds a significant fiscal impact of property tax exempt land across the thirty most populated municipalities in South Carolina.