Your property tax bill is in the mail

You might have been surprised when your Richland County Property Tax Bill jumped this year (I imagine Lexington County bills will also). This increase comes from a new 2019 reassessment of county property and mainly from an increase in the school bonds portion of your tax bill.

You may recall years ago voters approved a bond referendum here in Lexington Richland School District Five. I spoke with the district and learned the increase this year was an additional 20 mils to that earlier referendum bond amount. The increase was approved by the board for the construction of the Amicks Ferry elementary school and it will be paid off over a period of three years.

Of course other parts of the bill went up; but the new school comes out to roughly an additional $83 on a home valued at $100,000.

REAL ID – you’ll need yours, don’t wait til last minute

Beginning October 1, 2020, your South Carolina driver’s license or identification card must have a gold star to show it’s a REAL ID in order to use it as your identification to board a domestic, commercial flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation*. Purchase yours today and avoid longer lines in the future.

*You must have a reason to visit a military installation, and, even with a REAL ID, you may be subject to additional visitor control measures once on site.

New South Carolina driver’s licenses and identification cards, some of which are compliant with REAL ID, are now available for purchase. There’s been no change in the price of any card the SCDMV issues. The new cards are valid for no more than eight years.

A REAL ID will be your license or your ID. You are not issued separate cards. Either you will hold a REAL ID license, REAL ID ID (no driving privileges), standard license that says “Not for Federal Identification,” or a standard ID (no driving privileges) that says “Not for Federal Identification.” A gold star on your license or ID designates it as a REAL ID.

Regardless of whether you buy a REAL ID or not, you must still have an unexpired US Passport to travel internationally.
If you’re visiting a branch to change your card to a REAL ID, you must have the correct documentation with you to do so. You’re encouraged to check the wait times at branches before leaving home.

Documents needed to buy a REAL ID

If you’re interested in changing your current card to a REAL ID and are ineligible for online purchasing, you must bring to the SCDMV:

Proof of Identity
Examples: Government-issued birth certificate or unexpired US Passport

Proof of Social Security Number
Examples: Social security card or W-2 Form that has your social security number and name and your employer’s name

Two Proofs of Current, Physical SC Address
Examples: Current, unexpired South Carolina driver’s license or identification card and a no more than 90-day-old utility bill with the same name and address
View a complete list of all accepted address documents on the United States Citizens’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-93).

Proof of all Legal Name Changes
Examples: Marriage license or court order issued by your county’s probate or family court
You must show a complete name change history that links your birth certificate name to your present day name. If you have a valid US Passport or US Passport Card with your current, legal name, you may use that as your name change document.

You must have original or government-issued copies of all documents. The SCDMV will not accept copied or scanned versions. You can find a complete list of accepted documents on the United States Citizens’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-93).

If you are a veteran who has honorably served in the country’s armed services, please bring your Discharge Certificate (DOD Form DD-214) that shows you were honorably discharged to add the “veteran” designation to your driver’s license or identification card.

To learn more, click here.

Ooops – website has been down for weeks!

Not sure if it has to do with the thousands of spam comments (overseas, products, and worse) that have been coming in through the years or what – but I finally have the website back up and running.

Sorry for those of you who have been wondering what happened the past several weeks.

Time for me to get back to my posts to keep everyone informed. As always, if you have an event or something positive you’d like me to share with the community, please contact me at or simply click on the Contact Button here at NathansNews!

Most recent update on Johnson Marina Road

Received this morning from the SC Department of Transportation.

NOTE: No update from Lowman Home about the abandonment process.

* * *

In addition to the markings on the original plan sheet we will be adding:

· Two left turn arrows and “Only” markings to the left turn lane off of US 76.

· Left and Right turn arrows on Johnson Marina Rd.

· White Skip markings to delineate the beginning of the left turn lane off of US 76.

· White Skip markings at the end of the small turn lane on Johnson marina to help delineate this turn lane better.

Any of the indicated markings that are not already in place will be added. The arrow’s along with the final pavement markings are currently scheduled to go down this coming Monday and Tuesday nights. We have a small bit of corrective work to correct the tapered median for the left turning movement off of Johnson Marina onto Hwy 76.

* * *

Rep. Nathan Ballentine recognized with Green Tie Award

Rep. Nathan Ballentine was born in Richland County, graduated from the University of South Carolina, and has worked, lived, and raised his family in the Irmo/Chapin area of the Midlands for almost three decades.

Rep. Ballentine has served his community in the SC House since 2005, first running as a CVSC- endorsed candidate focused on restoring funding to the South Carolina Conservation Bank. Over his 7 terms in the House, Ballentine has built a reputation as a conservative leader who relies on common-sense values to improve his community and its quality of life.

Over his House tenure, Ballentine has earned an 82% lifetime score on the CVSC Conservation Scorecard. He has consistently supported land protection efforts like the Conservation Bank and worked to advance a clean energy future for our state. Ballentine formerly served on the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee where he was a champion for increased energy competition and clean energy. He now sits on the influential Ways & Means Committee.

In the wake of the VC Summer failure, Ballentine helped to form the bipartisan South Carolina Energy Caucus and currently serves as one of its Co-Chairs. In this role, he facilitated multiple briefings in 2018 and 2019 on clean energy legislation and aided in the passage of the Energy Freedom Act. As both a cosponsor of the Energy Freedom Act and tireless champion for clean energy, Ballentine has worked with his fellow conservatives to build a strong, pro-solar majority in the South Carolina House. He quietly works behind the scenes in the Republican caucus to ensure that conservation continues to have strong conservative support, reminding his colleagues that conservation is a bipartisan South Carolina value.

To read more, click here.

Need your feedback and advice

** For those constituents that post feedback and advice below before Thursday, September 5th at 3pm, you will be entered in a drawing to win 4 FREE lower deck tickets to this weekend’s Gamecocks v. Charleston Southern game. We have a family obligation and won’t be able to attend. I thought this might be a good way to let others in our community who may not get to go to games to have a chance. Just let me know what’s on your mind below and after 3pm Thursday, I’ll randomly draw a winner and contact you! **

It’s September, and while the SC General Assembly isn’t in session, each of us continues to work at our “part-time job”. I could argue it’s actually an “all-the-time job” but I love what I do, so I’m not complaining.

Good representatives stay in touch with their constituents year-round (not just at election time) and it’s often the feedback during these times that help us craft legislation to improve our state. Whether it be education, healthcare, energy, law enforcement, or other areas important to our quality of life; there are many of you out there with the experience and expertise to provide solutions to real problems we face every day.

Consider this a challenge to reach out to me (or your House Rep / Senator ) and share your idea and solution. While I won’t be able to lead on every issue, I can share with colleagues and hopefully you may one day see your idea become a solution that helps others!

You can email me at or contact me here! Please provide a phone number that I can use or give to staff to follow up in the coming weeks.

Thank you in advance.

COMMUNITY COOKOUT was a huge success – thank you!

The temp and humidity made it feel like 100+ degrees, but that didn’t stop everyone from meeting and mingling with local, state, and national leaders right here in our community!

Special thanks to Christina and Mark Woody who opened up there home again for this event.

Thanks also to Alex Salmon Photography for the video he put together which I feel captures the night and to Sam Holland for his wonderful photos .

For those that could not make it, this is a regular event I give to the community every other year. It started before I was first elected and continues to grow every year. I’ve enjoyed meeting new voters and bringing new officials for y’all to speak with in a casual setting. Too many times voters/constituents feel their elected officials aren’t accessible to them. This night is just one way for people to see their leaders not in the “stuffiness of coat/tie, board rooms, etc” but instead, right here on the shores of Lake Murray.

You can find information and videos of past cookouts here .

Thanks to almost 20 officials (all, who represent our area) who took time to be there for me/you!

US Senator Lindsey Graham
SC Governor Henry McMaster
SC Lt. Governor Pamela Evette
SC Senator Dick Harpootlian
SC House Representative Chip Huggins
Chapin Mayor David Knight
Chapin Town Councilman Leland Teal
Irmo Mayor Hardy King
Irmo Town Councilman Barry Walker
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott
Lexington County Councilmwoman Erin Long Bergeson
School District Five Superintendent Dr. Christina Melton
School District Five Board Chairman Robert Gantt
School District Five Board Members Jan Hammond and Ken Loveless

UPDATE: Johnson Marina Road project

After more than a year and a half (scroll thru articles after clicking) of seeing the “orange trashcans”, residents around Johnson Marina Road will soon see the project completed.

Next week, I’ll be speaking with the Lowman Home to see the status of their request to have Lowman Home Barn Road and Reformation Road “abandoned” by SCDOT so that they can close those streets for the safety and plans they have for their campus. As you can see below, if that does happen, I have worked with SCDOT to ensure we have a traffic signal so that we can “get out” from the area. Like many of you, I “cut through” Lowman Home multiple times every day going to schools or the Chapin area. Having a traffic light will be a huge help to turn left (and, frankly, turn right) if we no longer have access through Lowman Home’s campus.


Representative Ballentine – After the sewer-line was completed we set a new projected completion date of September 30th. That being said, the contractor has elected to use a jack and bore method for installing the required crossline under US 76. This will both expedite the project and minimize our impact on traffic. Right now the contractor is forecasting to be complete by the second week of September, ~ September 13th.

The September dates do not include the installation of a traffic signal because a signal is not warranted with the current traffic volumes and is not included in the construction contract. We projected the traffic volumes turning left from Johnson Marina Road onto US 76 after closing the roads through Lowman Homes, if that happens. The traffic volume is projected to be high enough to warrant a signal. SCDOT is prepared to install a signal quickly if the decision is made by Lowman Homes to move ahead with the closure and upon indication that the court will approve. If a signal is warranted after completion of the intersection project without closing of roads through Lowman Homes, SCDOT will move quickly to install.


Adopt-A-Highway – Marina Road August 24th

Email received from the Ballentine Civic Association:

Reminder: Saturday, August 24th 7:30 am Marina Road clean up. All who are willing to participate, please meet at the First Citizens Bank at the end of Marina Road. You will receive trash bags, pickers and vests. If you have your own pickers and vests, please bring them so there will be more to go around. The more people we have involved, the faster it will go.

Thanks to all for your cooperation. Marina Road has been adopted by the
Ballentine Civic Association


Chapin Chamber of Commerce Luncheon: September 19

Member Luncheon hosted by Prisma Health

Date: September 19, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT
Location: Mt. Horeb Church – 101 E Boundary Street, Chapin
Email April Robinson with questions at
Fees/Admission: Registration is required and is free for Chapin Chamber Members. Non-members pay $10.00.

Event Description: Please join us for our September Member Luncheon to be held at Mt. Horeb Church here in Chapin. This luncheon will be hosted by Prisma Health and Dawn Hunt, breast cancer survivor and chair of the 2019 Walk for Like and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, 5K & 10K will be our speaker.