Paper or Plastic: A New Option for Your State Income Tax Return

Introducing the SC Debit Card – Plus a Word of Warning

Your SC state income tax refund could look a lot nicer this year, thanks in big part to frequent SCIWAY contributor Rikki Moye. The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) has partnered with Bank of America and Visa to create the first-ever state income tax refund prepaid debit card.

SC Debit Card The card will save the state time and money, but it could end up costing you if you're not careful. While it may be a more convenient option for SC taxpayers without bank accounts, the card comes with a lengthy list of fees and stipulations. It should also be noted that the card expires after one year, and that cardholders will have to contact Bank of America's Customer Service Center to receive a check for any remaining balance.

SCDOR hopes the new card will eventually replace paper checks altogether, but in the meantime, checks are still the default method of payment. Direct deposit is also an option.

The Making of "Palmetto Moon"

In order to create the new card, SCDOR needed a unique image – one that represented South Carolina and created a strong connection with its residents. They found what they were looking for while browsing the South Carolina Picture Project, SCIWAY's collection of over 700 South Carolina scenes.

Palmetto Moon In fact, the photo that caught their eye is one that brings us many inquiries – a shot entitled "Palmetto Moon" taken by photographer Rikki Moye, who submitted the image shown to the right in January 2008.

This photo was taken at historic Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island. It has become increasingly popular over the past four years, garnering attention from both fans and businesses wanting to use it for advertising. Rikki thinks its popularity stems from the fact that the photo so closely resembles our beloved flag and state symbol.

Although it's been four years, Rikki still remembers how difficult it was to capture the perfect shot: "I had the idea for the shot after some local success with a Morris Island Lighthouse photograph (shown below). The challenge was finding the right tree in the right location. I also had to make sure the moon was in the right phase – timing was everything! With clouds, earth tilts, and the crescent moon only occurring on one or two nights a month, it really became a test of patience." In the end, it took nearly three years of waiting for Rikki to get the shot she wanted!
 Morris Island Lighthouse
Meet Rikki ...

Rikki Moye is a registered nurse and Resource Management Director at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center in Hartsville, but on the weekends she can be found traveling the Palmetto State with her camera in hand. She appreciates the beauty of the entire state, but she's particularly fond of the Lowcountry.

"I love to shoot in the Mount Pleasant / East Cooper area because it is so lovely," Rikki says. "It has a little bit of everything. The old-world charm of the Old Village, the Sullivan's Island beaches and lighthouse, Isle of Palms, and the Ravenel Bridge. You can always get a spectacular view of the harbor!"
Photographer Rikki Moye

Although honored, Rikki admits to being a little unsure when we first contacted her about the possiblity of having her photo on the face of the new debit card. "I truly had to think about it – I'm very protective of how the photograph is used." Although she has received many requests, Rikki has only allowed two other uses of the photo. One was on the Lexington County Soccer Club's website, and the other was on the cover of a Greenville company's catalog.

We asked Rikki if she would be opting for the debit card this year, but like a lot of us she won't have a choice. "I wish! I'm afraid I'll be paying taxes instead of getting any back!"

Be "Scene" – Add Your Photo to the SC Picture Project

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State while preserving some of its vanishing landscapes. We hope that it will create pride among South Carolinians and provide joy and inspiration to those who live far away.

Over 80,000 people view the SC Picture Project each month. Submitting a photo or painting is a great way to honor your hometown or favorite historic landmark – and bring attention to your art.

Add your picture to the South Carolina Picture Project – you never know who might see it!

© 2012, LLC. SCIWAY News is written by SCIWAY – with a lot of help from people throughout South Carolina. ISSN: 1537-3903.

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