North Carolina and South Carolina Legislative Update

North Carolina and South Carolina Legislative Update

North Carolina and South Carolina were created as separate British colonies with boundary lines set by surveys begun in 1735 and concluded in 1815, and re-surveys in 1813, 1905, and 1928.  Over the years, markers denoting the boundary have been lost or destroyed by the elements.


The states of North Carolina and South Carolina have enacted legislation to facilitate the work of the boundary commission in conforming and re-establishing the original boundary existing between the two states.  The legislation is effective January 1, 2017.




The existing law authorizes the Governor of North Carolina to appoint commissioners and a surveyor to act with the commissioners or surveyors appointed by any of the contiguous states (Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia) to return and remark by permanent monuments the boundary lines between the states.


The new act is a certification that the date of January 1, 2017, is the date when the boundary between North Carolina and South Carolina is officially re-established to conform to the original surveys as approved by the boundary commissions of North Carolina and South Carolina.


The law provides for the imposition of taxes on property that is affected by the boundary certification.  The North Carolina Geodetic Survey must record the final survey of the confirmed boundary in the office of the register of deeds in every county where real property has been affected by the certification of the boundary.  For real property previously treated as being subject to the jurisdiction of South Carolina, but that is recognized as being within the boundaries of North Carolina as a result of the certification, the title of ownership is not affected.  Instruments of title and recorded liens retain their previous effect.


Prior to initiating foreclosure of deeds of trust or mortgages that were recorded in South Carolina, but the real property is now certified to be within the boundaries of North Carolina, the security instrument must be recorded in the office of the register of deeds for the county (in NC) where the subject property is situated.




In South Carolina, the boundary adjustment affects the counties of Horry, Dillon, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Lancaster, York, Cherokee, Spartanburg, Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee.


For property, both individual residence or business location, that is determined to be located in South Carolina rather than North Carolina and that has been previously taxed, the individual or business will not be liable for back taxes to South Carolina solely as a result of the clarification.  The intent is that any property is taxed (or entitled to a refund) from only one state and is not subject to double taxation.


When the clarification results in property changing from North Carolina location to South Carolina location and a deed is filed in South Carolina, no deed recording fees are due on the filing.


For property taxes, property affected by the boundary clarification will be treated as effective January 1, 2017.  Taxpayers affected by the boundary clarification must apply for all property tax exemptions, special valuations and special assessment rations as specified under South Carolina law.


For a real estate foreclosure proceeding, the mortgagee must file with the court a copy of the recorded Notice of Boundary Clarification, along with the attorney’s certification.   The Notice of State Boundary Clarification is a statutory form to be recorded in South Carolina in the affected counties.