FORT MILL, S.C. -- The next time you pick up your kids from school, someone could be there writing down your license plate number.
Fort Mill School District is going to start cracking down on families with out-of-state plates.
"Quite frankly, it boils down to tax dollars," says Joe Burke, chief communications officer for Fort Mill School District. "It is tax dollars that we need and we are missing out on it."
Fort Mill School District benefits from the taxes collected on license plate tags. For example, on a $30,000 vehicle, the district's general fund gains more than $500.
The general fund goes directly to paying teacher salaries and other classroom needs, Burke says.
"That adds up over time when you have a large number of vehicles that are not registered properly," he explains.
The district will be teaming up with the auditor's office, reporting out-of-state tag numbers to their office for investigation. In the first phase, the district will request families to submit their license plate information upon student registration. However, Burke says, there will be employees periodically checking the lines of cars for tags from other places.
However, an out-of-state tag does not automatically mean a warning letter will show up in the mail.
Burke says, in a border county like York, there are plenty of acceptable reasons for why out-of-state tags could be picking up and dropping off children. People who own businesses, families who just moved to town, or babysitters from across the state line, are some examples he gave.
But for the many families who just never got around to changing their tags within the 45-day required period, district leaders say, consider yourself warned.
With 10,000-15,000 new homes being built in York County over the next couple of years, that's a lot of new families who are going to expect Fort Mill's well-documented, first-class education.
Burke says, they're coming to collect because that kind of education doesn't come free.
"It's hard to keep funding those teachers when you're having exponential growth as we are," Burke says.
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