DARLINGTON, S.C. — The Darlington County Council took a step Monday to help a global company founded in Hartsville.

The county council voted unanimously approve the second reading of an ordinance authorizing an agreement for the county to provide special-source revenue credits to Sonoco Products Company and to include property owned by the county in a joint-county industrial park operated by Darlington and Marlboro counties.

The agreement between Sonoco and the county calls for a special-source revenue credit to reduce the amount of county property taxes, including both county and school district taxes, to a level equivalent to an assessment ratio of 6% and a millage rate of 302.3 mills for a period of 10 years.

The agreement does not affect the millage rate assessed by or infrastructure credit agreement given by the city of Hartsville to the company.

Sonoco was founded in Hartsville in 1899. It grew from a 12-person warehouse to a company with more than 300 plants and 21,000 employees in a total of 33 countries.

The company was originally called the Southern Novelty Company. It changed to its current name in 1923 by taking the first two letters of each of the words in its name “Sonoco.”

It is not related to Sunoco, an oil and gas company that shortened its name from Sun Oil Company.

The ordinance will be up for third and final reading at the August meeting of the county council. That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10.

In other action, the Darlington County Council also unanimously approved a resolution encouraging its residents and county employees to wear face masks any time they are in contact with other persons who are not household members while in public areas, commercial/retail/business establishments, and county-owned facilities where social distancing is not possible.

Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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