Glossary of Terms


Act 388 - Passed in 2006, Act 388 altered the manner in which education is funded in South Carolina by basically exempting owner-occupied residential property from paying school operation taxes in exchange for a penny on the sales tax.   

ARW - The airport code for Beaufort County Airport on Lady's Island

Assessment Ratio - This is a ratio of the assessed value of property to the market value. The ratio is then used to calculate taxes. In Beaufort County, the Assessor uses 4% on owner-occupied legal residences, and 6% on property that is not the primary legal residence of owner.

B/JWSA - Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority, also referred to as B/JWSA, is a public, nonprofit created by the South Carolina Legislature to treat water in Beaufort and Jasper counties.

BRAC - Acronym used for the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, which analyses and reviews Congressional recommendations for base closures within the United States, then submits findings and recommendations to the President.

Bylaws - In general, subordinate laws that govern conduct of a particular board or group.

By Right - This refers to the right of a property owner to use his or her property in a use that is consistent with the current zoning. It is often used in relation to development matters.

CAFR - Acronym used for the comprehensive annual financial report, which is a set of financial reports summarizing what happened in a fiscal year, usually in relation to government. This differs from a budget, which summarizes the expectation of the coming fiscal environment.

CDC - An acronym used for the Community Development Code. The Community Development Code (CDC) is the zoning law for the unincorporated areas of Beaufort County adopted on December 8, 2014 by the Beaufort County Council. The CDC contains land use regulations and development standards broken out by zoning districts, and a series of zoning maps which depict the locations of the various zoning districts.

Charter - A formal document issued by a sovereign entity delegating rights, power and outlining purpose, normally resulting in the creation of an organization or branch subordinate to the issuing sovereign

CIP - This is an acronym for capital improvement plan, which is usually short term and focused on improving infrastructure, creating community assets or more broadly the physical resources.

Comprehensive Plan - A strategic outline for an area for the next 10 years addressing land use, population, economic development, natural resources, cultural resources, community facilities, housing, transportation and priority investment with review no less than every five years, as dictated by the state of South Carolina.

CPI - CPI is the acronym used for consumer price index, a measure over time of changes in prices of household services or goods purchased. CPI is one tool used in calculating inflation

DHEC - The acronym commonly used to reference the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, a state agency which oversees health, coastal resources and environmental concerns, according to their Website.

EFA - This is an acronym used often for the South Carolina Education Finance Act, originally passed in 1977 but had many amendments since. It established a minimum program for K-12 students and a procedure for distribution of specified state education funds to "ensure funds are provided on the basis of need to the extent set forth by this chapter in order to guarantee a minimum level of funding for each weighted pupil unit in the State."

EIA - An acronym used to refer to the South Carolina Education Improvement Act of 1984, which increased the sales tax to 5%, the 1% increase dedicated to funding various education initiatives.

FY - This is the common abbreviation for fiscal year, which is the set period that fiscal records are accounted. It may or may not reflect the calendar year. For example, Beaufort County's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

GAAP - Acronym used for generally accepted accounting principles, which function as an ethics guide for accountants and auditors as outlined by their professional organization. GAAP are established by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.

GASB 34 - An abbreviation commonly used for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Statement 34. GASB 34 sets out new financial reporting requirements for local and state government such as requiring input by financial managers under a required manager's discussion and analysis of the entity's annual financial performance, including financial statements for the whole government using accrual accounting, according to the Board.

GASB 45 - Abbreviation commonly used for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Statement Number 45. The Board specifies that this statement "establishes standards for the measurement, recognition, and display of [other post-employment benefits] expense/expenditures and related liabilities (assets), note disclosures, and, if applicable, required supplementary information (RSI) in the financial reports of state and local governmental employers."

GASB 54 - Abbreviation commonly used to reference the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Statement Number 54. The Board specifies this outlines objectives for improving use of fund balance information by making more consistent, clearer fund balance classifications, as well as clarifying government fund type definitions. According to this statement, a hierarchy of fund balance classifications is created based on the extent a government is bound to observe constraints on how amounts can be spent.

GASB 68 - Abbreviation commonly used for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Statement 68. The primary objective of this Statement is to improve accounting and financial reporting by state and local governments for pensions. It significantly changes pension accounting for accrual basis financial statements. It has no effect on governmental fund statements. Changes focus from income statement approach to focus on annual required contributions and adequacy of funding required contributions.

HIPAA - A commonly used acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 enacted by Congress, and more specifically to refer to the privacy and security standards. Basically, it sets standards for healthcare electronic records and transactions, as well as creates national identifiers.

Home Rule - A term used to describe the independent authority of local governments. The U.S. Constitution does not directly address local government, thereby leaving that decision to each state. In 1974, South Carolina amended the 1895 state constitution to expand the power of local government. Later, the Home Rule Act of 1975 established county councils independent of the General Assembly, made intergovernmental collaboration possible, spelled out structure, funding and purpose of counties and municipalities, and essentially gave local government powers not specifically prohibited by the state.

HXD - Airport code for Beaufort County's Hilton Head Island airport

Impact Fees - The local government fee paid by a new development to offset its impact on the community and services such as the cost of providing additional fire department coverage, water / sewer infrastructure and schools.

ISTEA - ISTEA is an acronym for the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 to expand the national transportation system. It also gave greater power in terms of transportation decisions to local planning. It was followed by the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century and later, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act.

LCOG - An acronym used for the Lowcountry Council of Governments. The public agency was established in 1971 to serve the governments in Beaufort, Colleton, Jasper and Hampton counties by advocating regionalism and acting as a link among local governments, as well as with state and federal governments

Legislation - also known as laws. They are passed by a legislative body.

LEN - An acronym used in reference to the Lowcountry Economic Network. The organization is a public-private partnership created by Beaufort County Council. It was tasked with bringing economic development and business to Beaufort County. Also see "The Network."

LGF - This is an acronym used to refer to the Local Government Fund, a source of funding distributed quarterly to counties by the State of South Carolina based on a statutory formula. Each county receives an amount based on the ratio of the county's population to the state population.

LMO - The acronym often used to reference the Town of Hilton Head Island's Land Management Ordinance, which dictates how land will be used, developed or addressed on the island. It is similar to a zoning ordinance.

LRTA - An acronym used to reference the Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority, also known as Palmetto Breeze. The authority provides transportation in the Lowcountry, often for people traveling to and from work.

MEC - MEC is an acronym for the Military Enhancement Committee, operated under the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, to address military topics. Generally its activity flares up in conjunction with national discussion. For example, MEC is active when the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission is activated.

Mill - Is the amount of tax divided by the assessed value of the property.

Millage - A rate of taxation. The millage rate is the amount per $1,000 used to calculate property taxes. To calculate the millage rate each year, the total of unfunded budget is divided by the total assessed value for all properties in the county. This number is multiplied by 1,000 to figure out the millage rate.

MOU - MOU is commonly used to refer to a Memorandum of Understanding, an agreement among parties for a common goal which does not necessarily signify a legally binding commitment. It is less formal than a contract, but more so than a handshake.

The Network - A phrase commonly used in reference to the Lowcountry Economic Network. The organization is a public-private partnership created by Beaufort County Council. It was tasked with bringing economic development and business to Beaufort County. Also see "LEN."

Ordinance - A statute, law or regulation, specifically passed by a local government covering matters not addressed by state or federal law.

Policy Statement - A document explaining the plan of action for an organization.

Practicable - To be able to put into practice; it will work.

PSD - An acronym used for public service district, which is established in order to protect public health in areas otherwise outside general jurisdiction of local government according to the State of South Carolina. Districts are under state jurisdiction, having commissioners recommended by the Legislative Delegation and gubernatorial appointments if they were formed before the 1973 Home Rule Act. However, commissioners in Districts created after Home Rule, are appointed by County Council.

PUD - PUD is used to refer to a planned unit development. This is a type of development approved through special permitting to allow for zoning not necessarily as set in the area. Often they incorporate multiple types of use.

Proclamations - An official announcement by a governmental entity.

Public Comment - The designated period during public meetings for public to comment on any matters under the purview of the organization.

Public Hearing - The designated period during a public meeting intended for the organization to get input from the public on a particular matter under review.

Resolutions - An adopted motion approving an action or policy for that governing body.

RFP - An acronym used for request for proposal, which is an early phase during the bidding process seeking suppliers' proposals for products or services.

RFQ - An acronym for request for qualifications. This is a phase in the bidding process whereby applicants submit their qualifications for the proposed project.

Rules of Procedure / Rules and Procedures - A set of rules and procedures adopted by a government to direct decorum during meetings and other functions.

SCAC - An acronym used for the South Carolina Association of Counties, an organization and representing the interest of county governments in the state.

Statute - This is a formal written act by a legislative body.

TIGR - Treasury Investment Growth Receipt, a type of bond.

TIF - TIF is an acronym for Tax Increment Finance District. This is a tool used to finance public projects in otherwise underdeveloped or blighted areas by channeling the increased tax revenues gathered from a defined, developing area.

TND - A planning or architectural term used to reference a traditional neighborhood development. The falls under an approach called New Urbanism, designed to reduced sprawl by placing residences, businesses and services within walking distance.

TY - An acronym used to reference a tax year. According to the Internal Revenue Service this is an annual accounting period for keeping records and reporting income and expenses. It can be either a calendar or fiscal year.

ZDSO - An acronym used when referencing the Zoning and Development Standards Ordinance (Now known as the Community Development Code).