Gastonia, N.C. — Several homeowners in South Carolina could become North Carolina residents by Jan. 1, 2017, thanks to a bill to realign the border between the states.
The line between North and South Carolina is not precisely where surveyors drew it the colonial times, so lawmakers in both states are attempting to straighten the line.
The state Senate voted 49-0 on Wednesday in favor of a bill to help straighten out the border near Gaston County.
"This boundary out here, it’s been here for like 200 years, and all of a sudden, somebody decides, ‘Well, I think we need to change that,'" said homeowner Doug Zaferatos, who bought his home 18 years ago.
Zaferatos, whose property is currently in South Carolina, said the cost of living in North Carolina worries him as part of the new realignment.
"Oh my God, what a hassle that would create," Zaferatos said.
Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, said that 54 properties would be affected by the change, including 19 homes.
One of the properties, a BP gas station that has been in South Carolina but now finds itself in Gaston County, sells fortified wine, fireworks and gas at the lower South Carolina tax rate.
The bill would allow the business to continue charging its customers the South Carolina rate but send that money to North Carolina.
"I’m not happy about it for a lot of reasons," said Dee Martin, whose house is located south of the state line. "It would be very hard for us to just make the changes that we would have to make, even just to stay where we are."
Dee said that, along with having to change her license plate to display the Tar Heel State, her health care service is licensed only for South Carolina.