The new year brings a new boundary to South Carolina’s northern border.
Last month North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order that formalized small border changes between both Carolinas. Those changes took effect with the arrival of 2017 on Sunday. The border was not technically moved, but original survey lines from the 1700s were rediscovered and formalized. However, a handful of homes switched states because of the change.
“The way the surveyors originally marked the line was by notching trees,” former State Sen. Wes Hayes, who served on the Joint Boundary Commission which recommended the changes. “And those trees are long gone.”
The two states have spent roughly 20 years using surveys, research, and GPS technology to pin down the 334-mile boundary between the Carolinas within inches. About 90 properties switched states as a result, mostly in the mountains or along the Charlotte suburbs.
Residents could see noticeable changes. South Carolina tends to be more lenient about income deductions on taxes, for instance, but can charge higher personal income taxes. The Palmetto State also has a lower gas tax, which will impact the Lake Wylie Mini Mart as it moves from South Carolina into North Carolina.
Hayes said it would have been easier to formalize the boundary years ago, but increased development confused the process. “We were able to backtrack from old deeds and other ways to get remarkably close,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “Where I’m confident that we came up with the proper lines.”
The project began in 1995 and finished when the commission approved the technical work for the last remaining 91 miles in 2013. Legislatures in both states approved the new boundary last year.