The state boundary between North and South Carolina around Gaston and Union Counties is now one of the most contested issues that both state legislatures are trying to resolve.
When the border was last marked, in 1772, they used rocks, cut marks in tree trunks, and fence posts, but obviously most of those landmarks are long gone.
Researchers combed through old records and century-old boundary surveys to determine where the true borders should now be, and in many places, it’s much different than where they currently are. That process was finished several years ago, but leaders still can’t figure out how to move properties from state to state without causing major headaches.
If the currently proposed state boundary passes the Senate – and then wins approval from the N.C. House, the South Carolina legislature and both states’ governors – 16 South Carolina homeowners and several businesses will find themselves in a new state.
The Lake Wylie Mini Mart is in one of the stickiest situations that would be affected by the new boundaries.
The gas station draws North Carolina customers who want to take advantage of South Carolina’s lower fuel taxes and legal fireworks laws
The new boundary falls just south of the gas station, putting it in Gaston County, a dry county that doesn’t allow beer sales in unincorporated areas.
The latest compromise that was approved by the Senate Finance Committee several weeks ago still moves the Mini Mart into North Carolina. But it would be allowed to continue charging South Carolina’s gas tax rate, and it could still sell fireworks and alcohol.
The governors of both states will have to sign the agreement before the state line change can be ratified.
For those people who will find themselves residents of a new state, there are still issues about taxes, school attendance, voting and more.
Lawmakers hope to work out a compromise within the coming weeks.