As of 2002, South Carolina had 46 counties, 269 incorporated municipalities, 85 public school districts, and 301 special districts of various types. Ten regional councils provide a broad range of technical and advisory services to county and municipal governments.
Under legislation enacted in 1975, all counties and municipalities have the same powers, regardless of size. Most municipalities operate under the mayor-council or city manager system; more than half the counties have a county administrator or manager. Customarily, each county has a council or commission, attorney, auditor, clerk of court, coroner, tax collector, treasurer, and sheriff. Many of these county officials are
South Carolina Presidential Vote by Political Parties, 1948–2000
|YEAR||ELECTORAL VOTE||SOUTH CAROLINA WINNER||DEMOCRAT||REPUBLICAN||STATES' RIGHTS DEMOCRAT||LIBERTARIAN|
|* Won US presidential election.|
|2000||8||*Bush, G., W. (R)||565,561||785,937||20,200||4,876|
elected, but the only municipal officers elected are the mayor and the members of the council.
While the state shares revenues from many different sources with the counties and, municipalities, these local units derive virtually all their direct revenue from the property tax. The state's school districts have rapidly increased their own property tax levies, squeezing the counties' and municipalities' revenue base.