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Taxes

Polk County, Municipal, and Fire District Property Tax Rates – 2014-2015
Taxing Authority $per  $100 Valuation

Polk County $0.5175
Town of Columbus $0.4150
Town of Tryon $0.5508
Town of Saluda $0.6050

Sales Tax Rate
The combined sales tax rate for Polk County, NC is 6.75 percent. The State of North Carolina receives 4.75 percent and Polk County receives 2.00 percent.

North Carolina Taxes

2015 Corporate Income Tax: A flat rate of 5% of net income.
[http://www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/corporate]

Sales & Use Tax: 4.75% statewide with a local rate of 2.00% (combined 6.75 tax is not applicable to raw materials, containers, labels, packaging and shipping materials).

Franchise Tax: $1.50 per $1,000 and is applied to the greatest base determined as set forth in the law.

Inventory Tax: North Carolina does not impose an inventory tax.

Property Tax: North Carolina does not impose a state property tax. Subject to local rates.

Electricity: Beginning July 1, 2010, there is a full exemption on sales and use tax for fuel and electricity sold to a manufacturer for use in connection with the operation of a manufacturing facility.

Natural Gas: 2.83%

Telephone Service: 3% local; 6% intrastate; $50,000 cap applies for call center operations

Unemployment Insurance Rate: Average tax rate of $200.40; Employers rate 0.00% to 6.84%; Taxable base $19,300

Individual Income Tax Rates:
New, flat North Carolina tax rate: 5.75% effective for tax year 2015

This change was part of the changes made to individual income tax to reform and simplify the State’s tax law. Previously, there were three individual income tax rates of 6%, 7%, and 7.75%, based on filing status and income levels.

[http://www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/individual/taxrate15.html]

Source: NC Department of Revenue and NC Department of Commerce

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Government

County & Municipal Administrative Locations

Polk County
828-894-3301
www.polknc.org

Town of Columbus
828-894-8236
www.columbusnc.com

Town of Saluda
828-749-2581
www.cityofsaludanc.com

City of Tryon
828-859-6655
www.tryon-nc.com

 

Polk County and Municipality Public Safety

Police/Sheriff Departments
Polk County Sheriff’s Department – 828-894-3001
Town of Columbus Police Department – 828-894-5464
Town of Saluda Police Department – 828-749-2691
Town of Tryon Police Department – 828-859-9195

Fire Departments
Polk County Fire Marshall’s Office – 828-894-3067

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Demographics Profile

 

People QuickFacts

Polk County

North Carolina

Population, 2013 estimate

20,411

9,848,060

Population, 2012 estimate

20,242

9,748,364

Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base

20,510

9,535,471

Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013

-0.5%

3.3%

Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012

-1.3%

2.2%

Population, 2010

20,510

9,535,483

Persons under 5 years, percent, 2012

3.9%

6.4%

Persons under 18 years, percent, 2012

17.9%

23.4%

Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2012

26.1%

13.8%

Female persons, percent, 2012

52.0%

51.3%

White alone, percent, 2012 (a)

93.2%

71.9%

Black or African American alone, percent, 2012 (a)

4.5%

22.0%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2012 (a)

0.5%

1.5%

Asian alone, percent, 2012 (a)

0.5%

2.5%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2012 (a)

Z

0.1%

Two or more races, percent, 2012

1.3%

2.0%

Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2012 (b)

5.7%

8.7%

White alone not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2012

88.2%

64.7%

Living in same house 1 year & over, percent, 2008-2012

91.3%

84.4%

Foreign born persons, percent, 2008-2012

4.1%

7.5%

Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+, 2008-2012

5.8%

10.8%

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25+, 2008-2012

86.1%

84.5%

Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25+, 2008-2012

27.0%

26.8%

Veterans, 2008-2012

2,006

738,926

Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16+, 2008-2012

25.4

23.5

Housing units, 2012

11,442

4,375,234

Homeownership rate, 2008-2012

74.8%

67.1%

Housing units in multi-unit structures, percent, 2008-2012

10.7%

17.1%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2008-2012

$171,800

$153,600

Households, 2008-2012

8,769

3,693,221

Persons per household, 2008-2012

2.29

2.51

Per capita money income in past 12 months (2012 dollars), 2008-2012

$23,983

$25,285

Median household income, 2008-2012

$42,762

$46,450

Persons below poverty level, percent, 2008-2012

15.7%

16.8%

 

   

Business QuickFacts

Polk County

North Carolina

Private nonfarm establishments, 2011

477

215,1131

Private nonfarm employment, 2011

3,693

3,284,5921

Private nonfarm employment, percent change, 2010-2011

-0.4%

1.5%1

Nonemployer establishments, 2011

1,833

656,617

Total number of firms, 2007

2,705

798,791

Black-owned firms, percent, 2007

S

10.5%

American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, percent, 2007

F

1.0%

Asian-owned firms, percent, 2007

F

2.5%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms, percent, 2007

F

0.1%

Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2007

S

2.7%

Women-owned firms, percent, 2007

32.3%

28.2%

Manufacturers shipments, 2007 ($1000)

153,075

205,867,299

Merchant wholesaler sales, 2007 ($1000)

64,996

88,795,885

Retail sales, 2007 ($1000)

110,320

114,578,173

Retail sales per capita, 2007

$5,764

$12,641

Accommodation and food services sales, 2007 ($1000)

15,539

16,126,939

Building permits, 2012

43

48,692

 

   

Geography QuickFacts

Polk County

North Carolina

Land area in square miles, 2010

237.79

48,617.91

Persons per square mile, 2010

86.3

196.1

FIPS Code

149

37

Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Area

None

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Agriculture

Average size of farms: 104 acres
Average value of agricultural products sold per farm: $17,467
Average value of crops sold per acre for harvested cropland: $627.92
The value of nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod as a percentage of the total market value of agricultural products sold: 37.50%
The value of livestock, poultry, and their products as a percentage of the total market value of agricultural products sold: 38.71%
Average total farm production expenses per farm: $25,864
Harvested cropland as a percentage of land in farms: 16.33%
Irrigated harvested cropland as a percentage of land in farms: 1.29%
Average market value of all machinery and equipment per farm: $35,269
The percentage of farms operated by a family or individual: 91.92%
Average age of principal farm operators: 55 years
Average number of cattle and calves per 100 acres of all land in farms: 10.98
Milk cows as a percentage of all cattle and calves: 7.31%
Corn for grain: 9 harvested acres
Vegetables: 77 harvested acres
Land in orchards: 396 acres

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Labor Force

Polk County Unemployment for April 2014:      4.2%

North Carolina Unemployment for April 2014:  6.2%

National Unemployment for
April 2014:        6.3%

Industries providing employment: Manufacturing (23.0%),

Educational, health and social services (18.4%), Retail trade (10.6%), Construction (10.1%).

Type of workers:

  • Private wage or salary: 74%
  • Government: 14%
  • Self-employed, not incorporated: 11%
  • Unpaid family work: 0%

Labor Market Overview

 

Civilian Labor Force Estimates for Polk County

Polk Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2014 4.9 4.6 4.8 4.2
2013 8.2 7.6 7 6.6 6.8 6.6 6.5 6.2 5.7 4.2 4.9 4.6
2012 8.5 8.4 7.8 7.5 7.7 8 7.8 7.7 7.1 6.8 7.1 7.8
2011 8.8 8.4 7.8 8.1 7.1 7.7 7.7 8.2 7.9 7.6 7.1 7.7
2010 10 10.2 9.4 8.4 7.8 8 7.7 7.6 7.1 7.1 7.8 7.5
North Carolina
2014 6.7 6.4 6.3 6.2
2013 9.5 9.5 9.2 6.3 8.8 8.8 8.9 8.7 8.3 8 6.9 6.6
2012 10.2 9.9 9.7 9.4 9.4 9.4 9.6 9.7 9.6 9.3 9.1 9.2
2011 10.5 10.4 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.6 10.7 10.7 10.6 10.4 10.4
2010 10.6 11.4 11.3 11.2 11 10.8 10.8 10.7 10.6 10.6 8.8 10.6
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Colleges and Universities

 within 50 miles of Polk County
University Of North Carolina at Asheville – 3499
Furman University, Greenville SC – 2958
Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC – 1197
Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, NC – 1308
Limestone College, – 3218
North Greenville University – 1844
University Of South Carolina Upstate, Spartanburg, SC – 4484
Converse College, Spartanburg – 1200

Community Colleges / Technical –Vocational Schools
Isothermal Community College-Columbus – 1050
Isothermal Community College-Spindale – 5808 (Public)
Spartanburg Methodist College – 790 (Private not-for-profit)
Spartanburg Community College – 5749 (Public)
South College – Asheville – 222 (Private for-profit)
ITT Technical Institute-Greenville – 555 (Private, for-profit)
Brown-Mackie College-Greenville – 679 (Private for-profit)
Greenville Technical College-Greenville – 13,411 (Public)
Virginia College-Greenville – 858 (Private for-profit)
McDowell Co. Community College – 1518 (Public)
Cleveland Co. Community College – 4029 (Public)
Haywood Co. Community College – 2489 (Public)
Western Piedmont Community College, Morganton – 3191 (Public)
Univ. of South Carolina-Union – 523 (Public)
* Source: NC Community College System – Annual Statistical Report, 2010-2011; USNews.com – Americas Best Colleges 2011

Isothermal Community College
Founded in 1964, Isothermal Community College serves Rutherford and Polk counties in the foothills of western North Carolina. ICC’s Polk County program was initiated in 1967 with classes meeting at various locations throughout the county.  A permanent site for the campus became available in October 1982 when the Polk County Commissioners granted the college 10 1/2 acres near St. Luke’s Hospital. This new site was dedicated on July 25, 1983 and construction of the new facility was completed in the fall of 1989.

ICC’s Polk Center provides occupational training in Nurse Aide and Allied Health including Therapeutic Massage as well as Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement and EMS/EMT Emergency Services training. The center also offers a wide range of personal enrichment classes in Computers, Creative Arts & Literature, Health & Happiness, History & Current Events, Foreign Language, Agriculture and more.

Future plans include a Heritage Crafts Program developed in collaboration with Tryon Arts and Crafts School.  Honoring the longtime tradition of handcrafts in the region, the program will provide training in the entrepreneurial skills needed to start and manage a craft business along with hands-on studio training in a specific craft such as woodworking, forge or fiber arts.

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Housing Availability & Costs

Polk County offers a wide range of housing choices. From newly constructed subdivisions, townhomes, and condos to historic homes to a variety of apartment choices, there are numerous available housing options. According to the Sperling’s bestplaces.net, the median cost of a single-family home in 2010 was $168,300. 78.6% (2005-2009) of the population owned their homes. Home appreciation costs in 2010 were -5.31%.

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Single-family new house construction building permits:
•    2000: 121 buildings, average cost: $124,000
•    2001: 152 buildings, average cost: $126,500
•    2002: 160 buildings, average cost: $127,200
•    2003: 197 buildings, average cost: $124,400
•    2004: 155 buildings, average cost: $129,100
•    2005: 165 buildings, average cost: $160,600
•    2006: 191 buildings, average cost: $197,300
•    2007: 162 buildings, average cost: $215,600
•    2008:   88 buildings, average cost: $228,900
•    2009:   51 buildings, average cost: $222,700
•    2010:   39 buildings, average cost  $267,749
•    2011:   41 buildings, average cost  $251,696

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Utilities

Utilities in Polk County are provided by various carriers depending upon the location of service. Below is a list that shows, in general terms, the providers for various services in each Polk County municipality. For more specific information on availability of service or rates, please contact the Polk County Economic and Tourism Development Commission.

 

 

Electricity Providers

Duke Energy
1-800-653-5307
www.duke-energy.com
Duke Energy generates and delivers electricity and innovative products and services. We demonstrate our business values in all aspects of our operations and in the way we help our customers, employees, shareholders and communities prosper. At Duke Energy, we’ve been helping the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina grow since 1904. We’re committed to providing your business with a continuous flow of service and expertise -– to respond quickly to new opportunities and to help you bring higher quality, greater production and increased efficiencies to your business. As you begin to locate or expand your plant or facility in the Carolinas, we invite you to look to us for expert guidance and customized services.

Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation
1-828-584-1410
www.remc.com
North Carolina proudly continues to be a leader in domestic and international business and industry expansion. In the area we serve, Rutherford EMC has, since 1937, helped the state earn this well deserved reputation. We are a non-profit cooperative – a retail supplier of electricity to over 57,000 commercial and residential consumers in ten counties. Rutherford EMC’s retail sales of kWh have increased over 20 percent in the last five years – testimony to our energy to get things done. Our best track record is in the quality of our service and our commitment to overall economic growth in the communities where we help people do business and enjoy life.

 

Gas Providers

PSNC
www.psncenergy.com

877-776-2427
PSNC knows that businesses large and small count on natural gas to meet a number of needs. For public and private enterprises such as office buildings, schools, churches, hotels, restaurants and government buildings, natural gas provides the energy for space heating, water heating and cooling. Restaurants and other establishments that require cooking facilities count on natural gas, too. The company is committed to helping your business succeed Whethe a small start-up company or an established commercial enterprise, depend on PSNC for customized and unparalleled level of service to meet your unique needs.

 

Telecommunications Providers

Charter Business
1-800-314-7195
www.charter-business.com

Charter Communications, Inc. is a leading broadband communications company and the third largest publicly traded cable operator in the United States. Charter provides a full range of advanced broadband services, including advanced Charter Digital Cable video entertainment programming, Charter High-Speed Internet access service, and Charter Telephone services. Charter Business™ similarly provides scalable, tailored and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to business organizations, such as business-to-business internet access, data networking, video and music entertainment services, and business telephone. Charter’s advertising sales and production services are sold under the Charter Media brand.

Windstream
1-800-843-9214
www.windstream.net
Offering business and residential services in Polk County, Windstream is a national provider. Business offerings include data centers, disaster recovery, internet access, voice service, as well as providing for small business and industry, especially financial services, health care, retail, education, government, technology, media and manufacturing.

PANGEA Internet
828-817-0863
www.pangaea.us
PANGEA Internet  is an internet service offered by e-Polk, Inc, a non-profit company. PANGEA Internet’s fiber network has expanded more than one hundred sixty miles, serving the major arteries of Polk County.

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Transportation

Interstate I-26 and US Highway 74 in Our Polk offer a distinct competitive advantage for companies located in the area. The average commute time for our local labor force throughout the county is less than thirty minutes. Interstate I-85 — with links to the east coast corridor — is less than 35 minutes away via I-26 in Spartanburg, South Carolina and the deep water ports of Charleston and Wilmington are less than 260 miles away with Morehead City, Savannah, and Jacksonville ports all less than a day’s drive from Our Polk.

City Distance From Polk
Asheville 45 miles (45 minutes)
North Metro Atlanta 168 miles (2 hours, 40 minutes)
Charleston 230 miles (3 hours, 45 minutes)
Charlotte 90 miles (1hour, 15 minutes)
Columbia, SC 115 miles (2 hours)
Raleigh, NC 250 miles (4 hours)
Spartanburg, SC 35 miles (30 minutes)
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Education

Schools and education are an important part of Our Polk life. Our public school system serves over 2,600 students from pre-kindergarten through grade twelve in six schools throughout the county.

Test scores for students in grades 3-12 consistently rank the system among the top ten in North Carolina. Our SAT scores exceed state and national averages and have increased from 985 to 1063 since 2000.

Our public school system is ranked 25th among the 115 school systems statewide in local per-pupil spending. The teacher/student ratio of Our Polk is among the highest in North Carolina. Test scores demonstrate that Polk County students exceed both the North Carolina ABC Accountability Standards and the Adequate Yearly Progress Goals required by the Federal No Child Left Behind Legislation.

Our Polk pubic schools have approximately 200 classroom teachers with 100% of our teachers having met the highly-qualified-standard in 2005 – 20% above the NC state average. Nearly 50% of our staff holds graduate degrees ranking Our Polk third when compared to the other 115 school systems in North Carolina.

In our temperate climate, Polk County Public Schools are closed an average of four days a year due to inclement weather.

College and Universities within 30 miles of Our Polk include Isothermal Community College, Blue Ridge Community College in North Carolina, and Spartanburg Technical College, University of South Carolina Upstate, Converse College, and Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. For more info on colleges and universities, click here.

Additional School Statistics
Graduation Rate (2010) – 87.2%
Per Student Expenditures K-12 (2010) – $10,117
Asian Students Passing End of Grade Exams (2010) *
Percent With a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher (2009) – 25%
Black Students Passing End of Grade Exams (2010) – 65.3%
Hispanic Students Passing End of Grade Exams (2010) – 69.1%
Percent With High School Diploma (2005-2009) – 30%
Percent With Less Than High School Diploma (2009) – 18%
Students Passing End of Grade Exams (2010) – 70%
White Students Passing End of Grade Exams (2010) – 90%

 

Public Schools Polk County

Polk Central

2141 South NC9Hwy

Mill Spring
28756 9771

Regular School, Traditional Calendar

PK-5

Polk County Early College

51 Walker Street

Columbus
28722

Regular School, Traditional Calendar

9-13

Polk County High

1681 East NC 108 Hwy

Columbus
28722 9757

Regular School, Traditional Calendar

9-12

Polk County Middle

321 Wolverine Trail

Mill Spring
28756

Regular School, Traditional Calendar

6-8

Saluda Elementary

214 E Main Street

Saluda
28773 0127

Regular School, Traditional Calendar

PK-5

Sunny View Elementary

86 Sunny View School Road

Mill Spring
28756 9699

Regular School, Traditional Calendar

PK-5

Tryon Elementary

100 School Place

Tryon
28782 2941

Regular School, Traditional Calendar

PK-5

 

Non-Public Schools in Polk County – 2009-2010

There are no private schools in Polk County.  Private schools can be found in  neighboring Spartanburg Co (SC), Greenville County (SC), Henderson County, Rutherford County. *Source: State of North Carolina Dept. of Admin., Division of Non-Public Education, 2010 Directory of Non-Public Schools

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