The Municipal Association began the new century in its new headquarters at 1411 Gervais Street in Columbia. Neither Y2K bugs nor a January snow could dampen the enthusiasm as the grand opening celebration was held on January 25, 2000. Municipal officials were pleased with the new presence on Gervais Street across from the State House.
The first year of the century also saw the first major change in annexation laws since 1988. The petition and election method was changed to comply with federal court decisions and reinstated as an annexation alternative. Other tools for the municipal toolbox followed with amendments to the Municipal Improvement Districts Act (2000) to allow for business improvement districts, Textile Community Revitalization Act (2004), and the Retail Facilities Revitalization Act (2005).
Debate over private property rights versus protecting the public through good land use planning consumed several legislative sessions. The debate subsided after enactment of the Vested Rights Act (2003) which protects developers and requires training and certification of those involved in land use planning. This legislation was complemented by the Priority Investment Act (2007) which requires notification and coordination of government actions affecting land use decisions.
Taxes continue to be a constant source for public policy debate. The decade started with a reduction in the assessment rate for automobiles from 10.5 percent to 6 percent. The rate declined ¾ percent each year from 2001 to 2008. Local property taxes continued to be the target of the state legislature. Hard caps on millage increases by local elected officials, a sales tax to replace school operating millage and caps on increases in appraised value of property were some of the disastrous results of Act 388 of 2006. Constitutional amendments to change property tax laws were approved by the voters in spite of the Association saying, "this isn’t the deal you think it is!" The chickens came home to roost with a steep decline in state revenue, which left schools underfunded and local governments searching for ways to provide essential services with legislative caps in place.
The Municipal Association stepped up to inform cities and towns about GASB 34 closely followed by GASB 45. Both pronouncements of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board were costly for local governments. The Association established the South Carolina Other Retirement Benefits Employee Trust to help local governments meet the requirements of GASB 45.
Technology Enhanced City Hall was launched in 2001 to help cities and towns use new technology to improve services and access to city hall. The Association selected VC3, a Columbia based technology firm, as its strategic partner to provide members state-of-the-art technology at affordable prices.
The Municipal Association umbrella for affiliate associations spread wider as the South Carolina Association of Stormwater Managers (2001), Municipal Technology Association of SC (2004) and Municipal Courts Association of SC (2006) formed bringing the total number of affiliate associations to 10.
In 2008, the board promoted veteran Association employee, Miriam Hair, to the position of executive director upon the retirement of Howard Duvall. Hair became the fifth executive director of the Municipal Association.