Facts and Information for New Residents
The nearest commercial airport is the Asheville Regional Airport (http://www.flyavl.com/) at Fletcher, 23 miles from Columbus. The Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, (http://www.gspairport.com/) located at Greer, S.C., is 33 miles from Columbus. A private airport, Fairview, is located 8 miles south of Columbus and has a 3,000-ft. paved runway with lighting.
DRIVER’S LICENSE / TAG AGENCY
New Drivers License, Tag office, and Tax office opening September 3, 2014 on Walker St. Columbus. 828-894-8500
Drivers License: Columbus Mobile Unit: Located 130 Ward Street in Columbus (in front of Post Office) is open most Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Call 828-692-6915 for exact dates.
You can also go to the Hendersonville office: 828-692-6915, 125 Baystone Dr., Hendersonville, NC, Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Proof of insurance, a valid driver’s license (renewals only), Photo identification and a social security card are required. For additional information, call one of the DMV offices listed above.
N.C. License Tag Agency: No office in Polk County. License plates may be renewed via the Internet at www.ncdot.gov/dmv/.
Offices are located:
Hendersonville: 828-692-0648, 145 Four Seasons Mall, Hendersonville, NC, Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Spindale: 828-287-3600, 1639 US Hwy 74A Bypass, Ste. 140, Spindale, NC 28160, Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Newcomers must register vehicles within 30 days of moving into the state.
Newcomers have 90 days after establishing residency to apply for a driver’s license and 45 days to purchase a S.C. license tag. With a valid out-of-state driver’s license, only an eye exam is required. For more information, go on-line at http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/
Local Spartanburg County offices: 8794 Fairforest Rd., Suite B, Spartanburg, SC, Ph: 864-587-4713; Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
REGISTERING TO VOTE
It is suggested that people moving to our area register immediately so they may vote in local elections.
THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, Womack Building, 101 Courthouse Street, Columbus, NC 28722
828-894-8181, Mon – Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
SPARTANBURG COUNTY BOARD OF VOTER REGISTRATION, Human Resources Center – Evans Bldg, 142 South Dean St., PO Box 1287, Spartanburg, SC 29304
Newcomers must register at least 30 days before an election. NC residents may register to vote when applying for a driver’s license. You can register when you apply for a driver’s license. Or, on-line: www.scgop.com and www.scdp.org.
Polk County: Seven schools serve approximately 2,500 students:
Polk Central Elementary School: 828-894-8233, Kindergarten through fifth grade.
Saluda School: 828-749-5571, Kindergarten through fifth grade.
Sunny View Elementary School: 828-625-4530, Kindergarten through fifth grade.
Tryon Elementary School: 828-859-6584, Kindergarten through fifth grade.
Polk County Middle School: 828-894-2215, Grades sixth through eighth. (Opened 2005)
Polk County High School: 828-894-2525, Grades nine through twelve.
Polk County Early College: 828-894-2698, first virtual college in the state.
New students will need two documents: a birth certificate and immunization. State law requires immunization against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, red and German measles.
Polk County High School is located on 60 scenic acres just northeast of Columbus. The 135,000 sq. ft. Polk County High School is listed as a School of Distinction for the 2009-2010 school year. It has a 750-seat, fully equipped theatre. All schools have a computer lab staffed by a fulltime technology specialist and are online with the Internet.
All schools are part of a wide area network (WAN) connected to the state computer network. All students have access to laptop computers for use during the school year. A gifted program, in each school, is designed to challenge and motivate the creativity and intelligence of academically gifted students. Advanced-placement courses offer college credit for satisfactory work in English, U.S. History, Calculus, Biology and Chemistry. The schools participate in TIP; a Talent Identification Program sponsored by Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Polk County Early College is located in Columbus, North Carolina in the foothills of the Saluda mountains. The Early College began in the fall of 2007 and was a project of North Carolina Governor, Mike Easley. The college is the first virtual early college in the state, and it is funded by the Bill and MeLinda Gates Foundation. The Polk County Early College is a Learn and Earn School in which students earn college credits while in high school. The Early College is a partner with the Isothermal Community College and with the North Carolina Virtual Public.
Polk County Schools offer a daylong program for four-year-olds at four sites: Tryon Elementary/Forbes, Polk Central, Sunnyview and Saluda. Polk County Schools’ administrative office is at Stearns Education Center in Columbus. Telephone: 828-894-3051.
On the Web: www.spartanburg1.k12.sc.us
O.P. Earle Elementary School: 864-457-3416, 100 Redland Road, Landrum, SC 29356
Landrum Middle School: 864-457-2629, 104 Redland Road, Landrum, SC 29356
Landrum High School: 864-457-2606, 18818 Asheville Hwy, Campobello, SC 29322
Christian School: Grace Christian School: 864-457-3348, Landrum Mill Road, Landrum SC 29356
Lanier Library: 828-859-9535, 72 Chestnut St., Tryon, NC • Website: www.lanierlib.org
Polk County Public Library: 828- 894-8721, next to the Polk County ICC Campus • Website: www.publib.polknc.org
Saluda Public Library: 828-749-2117, 44 W. Main St., Saluda, NC (branch of Polk County Library)
Landrum Library: 864-457-2218, 111 E. Asbury Drive • Landrum, SC 29356C, Website: http://www.infodepot.org/zloc/laninfo.asp
NORTH CAROLINA TAXES
State Income Tax is based on Federal Taxable Income with modifications of certain deductions and exemptions. Tax rates start at 7% of taxable income and range to a maximum of 7.7%. The state sales tax rate is 7%, with the exception of retail sales of food for home consumption. Drugs purchased under a doctor’s prescription are exempt. All income from North Carolina Municipal Bonds and unit trusts is Federal, State and Intangibles tax-free. Polk County property tax rate is approximately 0.68 cents per $100 value into the general fund (every $100 of vehicles, real estate, businesses or personal property owned). Tax Collector can be reached at 828-894-8500.
Polk County has St. Luke’s Hospital, a 74-bed private, nonprofit, acute care hospital providing 24-hour-a-day Physician coverage. The hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Excellent health and wellness programs are conducted at St. Luke’s and the wooded, exercise path located directly behind the hospital is a popular place for community “walkers.” Polk Social Services offers in-home services and administers other supportive services.
828-894-3311. Website: http://www.saintlukeshospital.com
Spartanburg County has Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, a 480-bed facility that includes state of the art technology, offers the only regional air ambulance center, the Gibbs Cancer Center, and the Heart Center. 864-560-6806, Website: www.spartanburgregional.com
Health Check provides free health insurance to children 0-20 whose families qualify. NC Health Choice for Children offers free or low-cost health insurance to uninsured children 0-18 whose families do not qualify for Medicaid. Both programs have comprehensive benefits. Call toll-free 877-252-8066 or 828-859-5825 in Polk County for information and applications. www.dhhs.state.nc.us.