South Carolina General Assembly
109th Session, 1991-1992
Journal of the House of Representatives


Friday, January 18, 1991
(Local Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The House assembled at 10:00 A.M.

Deliberations were opened with prayer by the Chaplain of the House of Representatives, the Rev. Dr. Alton C. Clark as follows:

Almighty and Eternal God, our Refuge and Strength in every circumstance and condition of life, look with favor upon all who serve in sailing the ship of State. Grant unto us wisdom to walk worthily in Your wonderful ways and so direct our deliberations and decisions and elevate our endeavors that justice may be done at home and abroad, that peace may come to all the world, and that good will may be established among the nations.

Make us strong in purpose, great in uprightness and firm in our trust in our Heavenly Father, to Whom we offer this prayer in praise and thanksgiving. Amen.

After corrections to the Journal of the proceedings of yesterday, the SPEAKER ordered it confirmed.

1989 - 1990



Joint Resolution No. 1289 of 1970 created the committee to act as a continuing liaison group to study the programs and problems of tourism in the State, recognizing the importance of tourism to the total economy of the State and recognizing the necessity of making tourism more productive and more profitable. This Resolution provided for the appointment of a nine-member committee to consist of three members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, three members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, and three members appointed by the Governor. The Resolution further provided that the members then serving on the Committee to Promote the Tourist Industry would be the initial members of the Committee on Tourism.

A permanent committee was created by Act 160 of 1977. The committee was empowered to act as a continuing liaison group to study the programs and problems of tourism in the State. Act 517 of 1980 amended the law by adding to the powers and duties of the committee the responsibility for coordinating the efforts of the State Development Board and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture in the development of international agriculture and agro business markets.

Basically, the primary function of the Joint Legislative Committee on Tourism and Trade is to promote the tourism and trade industry in South Carolina. Presently South Carolina's second largest industry, the tourism industry provides a tremendous economic impact to the State. A significant function of this committee is to oversee and approve grant applications submitted through the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism's Funds-Sharing Program. The law provides that this committee and the PRT Commission establish guidelines for the administration of this tourism matching-grants program for local public agencies and non-profit organizations involved with tourism promotion activities.


On February 2, 1990 the Joint Legislative Committee on Tourism and Trade met in conjunction with the Governor's Conference on Tourism at Hilton Head Island. Chairman Long noted that the Committee has been designated by legislative proviso to serve as the Oversight Committee for the Accommodations Tax law for one year and to develop recommendations (see Accommodations Tax Oversight Committee Activities, page 4). PRT has been designated by the legislature to hold seminars for education on Accommodations Tax for local government officials and Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee members.

It was agreed that county and municipal governments as well as the Tax Commission need clearer guidelines to help ensure that they spend Accommodations Tax money in accord with the Act's intent.

The Committee also voted unanimously to support the position taken by the PRT Commission to support raising the Admissions Tax from 4% to 5% with the rest of the law remaining the same (all above $3.5 million earmarked for advertising and promotion), effective January 1.

On March 20, 1990 a meeting of the Joint Committee on Tourism and Trade was held at the Columbia Marriott Hotel. A Representative from the South Carolina Hotel and Motel Association presented a Governmental Affairs Committee report. The report touched on the following categories: Environmental, Taxes and Fees, Alcohol, Unified School Openings, Transportation and Signage, Operational Regulations, Gaming, and Advertising. After a discussion of each category, the Committee agreed to do their best to assist and support the Association's views and position in each category.

A meeting of the Committee was held on May 9, 1990 in room 406 of the Gressette Building. It was unanimously agreed to meet with the Development Board and PRT to discuss tourism incentives.

Chairman of the Committee, J. M. "Bud" Long, Jr., resigned effective immediately and recommended Vice-Chairman Jennings G. McAbee be elected the Committee's new Chairman. It was unanimously agreed.

The Committee also voted unanimously to seek Senate support for the restoration of the funds approved by the House of Representatives for the following two items in the PRT section of the 1990-91 State Appropriations Act:

(1) Restoration of the Tourism and Recreation Development appropriation of $198,236, including the positions and support funds for the new Community Development Division and other programs, to help extend the full benefits of tourism and recreation to all of South Carolina, including the rural and small town areas.

(2) Addition of $250,000 to the Tourism Advertising appropriation to increase this amount to the $500,000 level as approved by the House to provide needed funds for advertising to help ensure full recovery from Hurricane Hugo and to meet growing competition from other states.

The Committee voted unanimously to include in the above-referenced letter to the members of the Senate the following:

(1) To oppose the proposed increase of the admissions tax from 4% to 5% effective July 1, 1990, for the purpose of placing this revenue in the State General Fund; (2) to support recommendations made by the Governor's Economic Renewal Commission and a number of state, regional and local agencies and organizations to adjust the admissions tax rate to 5% with provision that the existing law be retained with revenue from the 1% increase to be allocated to PRT for tourism advertising and promotion, including local funds-sharing grants, to expand the job-creating, tax-creating, tax-generating and other economic benefits of tourism; and (3) to defer implementation of the 1% rate adjustment to February 1, 1991, to avoid serious disruption to consumers and affected businesses who have published rates and brochures and sold tickets, golf packages and other admissions tax items that are effective throughout the 1990 calendar year, providing no reasonable opportunity to make adjustments for a "crash" tax increase in July 1.

PRT funds-sharing applications were also addressed. The Committee received 262 applications submitted by 182 organizations. PRT recommended 213 applications be approved in some form. The total amount of requested funding was 2.8 million dollars with 1.4 million dollars in funding available. The PRT Commission will give final approval to the funds-sharing grants. The Joint Tourism and Trade Committee approved the grants as recommended by PRT.

The Joint Tourism and Trade Committee toured the States Ports Authority in Charleston on July 21, 1990. Following the tour was a committee meeting. At the meeting the Committee unanimously agreed to support PRT's budget request priorities and PRT's proposed action relative to the State's Admission Tax.

There was also some brief discussion regarding PRT's International Marketing Program for 1980-90, PRT's Accommodations Tax workshops and Bed-and-Breakfast operations in South Carolina.

On August 29, 1990 a meeting of the Joint Tourism and Trade Committee was held at the Myrtle Beach Hilton in conjunction with the Joint Tourism Caucus Conference. PRT proposed additional funds from adjustment of earmarked admissions user fee rate from 4% to 5%. The Committee unanimously affirmed their support for PRT's proposal.

There was some discussion regarding the Accommodations Tax law. It was agreed to get staff to work on possible legislation that would clarify the law once and for all and clear up the differences between the accommodations industry and the local governments.

Chairman McAbee addressed a complaint he had received against the City of Rock Hill. The complainant alleges that there was not enough representation on the Advisory Board from the Hospitality Industry. The complainant feels that because of the make-up of the Board, any action taken is in effect unlawful or improper.

The Committee agreed to contact the complainant and find out who serves on the Board and what industry they represent before addressing the complaint.

The Committee also gave approval for Chairman McAbee to purchase two chairs to be placed in the Committee's new Blatt Building office.

After a brief discussion relative to traffic congestion going to and from South Carolina's beaches and the impact of infrastructure needs on business, it was agreed to ask the Highway Department if grant money was available to help fund transportation studies.
There was a meeting of the Joint Tourism and Trade Committee on November 13, 1990. The Committee addressed three remaining complaints and resolved two of them.

Revisions and refinements to the Accommodations Tax Act was also discussed. After addressing the suggested revisions, the Committee unanimously approved them. It was agreed to draft an appropriate bill to be introduced during the 1991 session.

The Committee unanimously approved the proposed guidelines for admissions tax special grants and 1991-92 tourism funds sharing guidelines.

Mr. Fred Brinkman gave a good progress report on a new PRT Division, Community Development and announced the creation of an International Marketing Division, which will work to promote S. C. to an increasingly important international market.

Chairman McAbee briefly addressed tourism/recreation development incentives and gave a status report on admissions tax adjustment efforts.


In 1989, the General Assembly designated the nine members of the Joint Legislative Committee on Tourism and Trade and the Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Committee, or the Chairman's designee, to serve as the Oversight Committee for expenditure of Accommodations Tax money by county and municipal governments for a period of one year. During this time the Committee will evaluate the effectiveness of the Accommodations Tax education programs and workshops implemented by PRT for the State's counties/municipalities and the local Accommodations Tax advisory committees and report to the General Assembly no later than January 1, 1991 with its specific recommendations. A carryover of this authority for another year (through June 30, 1991) is included in the 1990-91 Appropriation Bill.

The Accommodations Tax Oversight Committee is responsible for receiving complaints and questions regarding the expenditures of Accommodations Tax funds. The Committee will review each submitted complaint, obtain facts that may be needed from the involved governmental entity and issue an opinion as to whether or not there is any violation of the Accommodations Tax Law.

- Complaints Received -

1)     City of West Columbia (received April 26, 1990) - The complainant questions the City's funding process and the existence of their Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee.

2)     Richland County Council (received April 26, 1990) - The complainant questions Richland County Council's funding process.

3)     Greater Columbia Convention and Visitor's Bureau (received April 26, 1990) - The complainant questions the operations of the CVB.

4)     Hilton Head Town Council (received June 25, 1990) - The complainant questions Hilton Head Town Council's funding process.

5)     City of Rock Hill (received August 21, 1990) - The complainant questions the Rock Hill Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee's make-up.

6)     County of Greenville (received September 25, 1990) - The complainant questions Greenville County's funding process.


Act #0474 - (H.4427)     A bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Sections 4-9-195 and 5-21-140 so as to authorize the governing bodies of counties and municipalities to grant special property tax assessments of "rehabilitated historic properties" and "low and moderate income rental properties."

Act #0514 - (H.4387)     A bill to amend Section 56-3-1960, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to free parking for handicapped persons, as to provide the parking privileges to apply for an out-of-state motor vehicle displaying evidence of handicap.

Act #0317 - (H.3739)     A bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Chapter 10 to Title 4 so as to provide for the levy of a sales and use tax in a county area by setting forth definitions, purposes, and requirements for a referendum, collection uses, and distribution; to amend Section 12-35-580, relating to a statement and prepayment of estimated sales tax liability, so as to exclude the imposition of the local option sales and use tax from the Section and to provide for an allocation to and reimbursement by the Tax Commission for administrative expenses to implement the tax.-amended title

Act #0676 - (H.4918)     A bill to amend Chapter 55, Title 44, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to water, sewage, and waste disposal, by adding Article 23 so as to provide for the regulation of public swimming pools by the Department of Health and Environmental Control by enacting the State Recreational Waters Act.-amended title

Act #0515 - (H.4723)     A bill to amend Section 12-35-320, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to the requirements for the retail license, so as to consolidate the provisions governing special retail licenses and exemptions from the retail license requirements for retailers conducting a transient or temporary business, and to provide definitions, and to provide for a special sales tax return for special events in lieu of the retail license requirements and discount provisions, and to provide definitions and to authorize the Tax Commission to determine which license a retailer must obtain.
Act #0519 - (H.3768)     A bill to amend Articles 1 and 3, Chapter 25, Title 57, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to outdoor advertising, so as to revise the requirements of the Highway Advertising Control Act by providing for definitions, authorized signs, the issuance of permits, illegal advertising devices, signs on rights-of-way, removal of and compensation for signs, regulation by other authorities, expenditures for removal, violations, and penalties.

Act #0503 - (S.0138)     A bill to enact the Clean Indoor Air Act of 1990 and to provide penalties for violations.-amended title

Act #0391 - (S.0391)     A bill to amend Sections 48-39-270 through 48-39-360, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to the Beach Management Act, so as to add Sections 48-39-305 and 48-39-355, provide for a thirty instead of forty-year retreat policy, revise definitions, the provisions for and the determination of the baseline and the setback line, the duties of the Coastal Council, the provisions for the repair and replacement of a habitable structure or recreational amenity, exemptions, erosion control devices, damage appraisals, and time limitations, provide for a petition to the circuit court by landowners and the court's determination, provide for the planning of vegetation, provide for the creation and revision of the Beach Management Plan pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act, revise the requirements of a disclosure statement in a contract of sale and deed, and provide for the circumstances under which a permit is not required and for documentation; amend Act 634 of 1988, relating to the Beach Management Act, so as to provide for a gradual retreat from the beach/dune system over a thirty instead of a forty-year period; and provide for the effective date.

Act #0423 - (S.1157)     A bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Chapter 9 to Title 45 so as to provide for the revocation of any license or permit issued by the State or its political subdivisions to an establishment of public accommodations found to practice discrimination on account of race, color, religion, or national origin after a hearing by the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, to provide exceptions, to provide for judicial review, and to provide for criminal and civil penalties and remedies for violations.-amended title

Act #0404 - (S.1215)     A bill to amend Section 12-35-710, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to sales tax on transient accommodations, so as to provide that the tax is imposed only on revenues derived from the rate charged for rental of sleeping accommodations and does not apply to any additional guest charges, and to define "additional guest charge".

Rat #0704 - (S.1322)     A Joint Resolution to direct the South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation to erect certain directional signs relating to the location of Billy Dreher Island State Park and the Lake Murray Country Visitors Center.

Part I

Proviso 3.45 Changes due date on report of Accommodations Tax Law Oversight Committee from January 1, 1991 to April 1, 1991.

Proviso 66.3 Expands PRT's authority to establish a scholarship program at Clemson and four TEC schools to all other state institutions of higher education and expands the scope of the program from park management to park-related fields including interpretation, conservation and park management.

Proviso 124.22 The SHIMS Oversight Committee will direct an amount not to exceed $3,000,000 to fund public transportation activities.

Part II

Section 34 Amends 1989 economic development fund law so as to allow the use of not more than $1,000,000 for tourism advertising, computer infrastructure study, geographic information systems and the Southeast Manufacturing Center.

Respectfully submitted,


J. M. Long, Jr.     Jennings G. McAbee,     William E. Wheless
John C. Land, III     Chm.     H. Dan Avant
Douglas L. Hinds     Dick F. Elliott     Charles W. Pigg


The following Bill was taken up, read the third time, and ordered sent to the Senate.



At 10:10 A.M. the House in accordance with the ruling of the SPEAKER adjourned to meet at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, January 22, 1991.

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