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James Island Info
Some former Town of James Island residents are now eligible to join the City of Charleston and receive more services and better quality services and a competitive tax rate.  To see if your property is eligible, email us.

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Over 18,000 James Islanders have already joined the City. The window of time in which James Islanders may annex may be very short, so we strive to quickly provide any information you need to help make your decision. Annexation is a voluntary option, unlike a town incorporation which does not require individual consent. The City has a lot to offer its residents, and we'd like to offer our services and benefits to all James Islanders that want them. Changing to the City district doesn't mean changing your lifestyle. The process is simple and free, and only requires you to sign an application. We'll do the rest.

Top Reasons James Islanders Chose the City

City Limits  Over 18,000 James Islanders are already in the City limits, and many neighborhoods want to come under the same jurisdiction by annexing.

Police  As the largest police force in SC, the City has reduced violent crime by over 50% in the past 3 years. The City’s 400 officer police force has dedicated Team 3 to James and Johns Island with over 40 patrol officers, as well as CSI, SWAT, Traffic, Underwater Recovery Unit, Victim Services, and special  units responding 24/7 to City citizens’ needs. 

Recreation  City residents receive discounts on sports, golf, pool passes, summer camp, and more! Almost all recreation facilities on JI are City-run, and only City residents receive discounted city rates. If you or your kids play in our rec leagues anywhere in the city then you pay more as a non-City resident. Families can save $25 on youth sports, $30-$90 on gymnastics, $25-112 on pool passes, $50 on tennis, $210 on golf, $15 on JI Rec Ct membership, and more.

Services  The City has an extensive stormwater maintenance program. Our Department of Public Service cleans, cuts, and mows over 20 miles of drainage ditches collectively around the island, and will add to that as properties are annexed. We maintain and repair city roads and are proud to have a successful 48 hr pothole repair guarantee.

Fiscally Sound & Transparent Budget  The City has a fiscally sound government with a transparent budget that can be viewed online at by anyone. The City has the highest bond rating of any city in SC.

Vote for your choices  You can only vote in City elections if you’re a citizen, which means you can choose the mayor and councilmembers, and have a say in things like taxes, zoning, or new business laws. If you want a voice among the other 17,847 James Islanders in the City, become a City citizen. 

Taxes  The City’s taxes are very competitive with James Island PSD tax rates. It may be cheaper for you to be in the city, but it depends on how much your home is worth, what type of property it is, or whether you get certain property tax credits. We are happy to provide tax comparisons.  Call 724-3774 or email us

Other Services  It’s hard to name all the services and programs that the city has, but to name a few…
  •  Housing Repair & Roofing Assistance  The City’s popular loan program gives low interest loans and deferred non-repayable loans for new roofs and lead base paint inspections for homeowners that meet requirements and the  income /age limits.
  • CharlestonWise home energy program  Charleston’s new program offers up to $900 in instant rebates for home energy improvements, as well as a loan programs and other assistance for energy related projects. Visit 

Frequently asked questions

Can Town of James Island residents annex property into the City?  No.  If a property is currently in the Town, the property cannot be annexed.  If a property is in the City, it also cannot be annexed by the Town. However, many areas of the previous Town of James Island prior to 2011 are not included in the current Town boundaries.  This means that some properties are located in unincorporated areas that are neither in the Town nor in the City.  These properties are eligible to annex into the City of Charleston.  Not all former residents of the Town of James Island are eligible to join the City.  To see if your property is eligible to annex into the City, email us.  

How does annexation work in SC?  In South Carolina, residents are afforded the opportunity to specifically request as an individual (or group of neighbors) to incorporate their homes into the surrounding City. Many "donut holes" of unincorporated properties exist in James Island, West Ashley, Johns Island, and Cainhoy. The City reaches out to the homeowners of those areas to offer them the advantages of annexation. "Donut holes" are small areas within the City that are touching city limits but are still under the jurisdiction of Charleston County.