View Amendment Current Amendment: 5 to Bill 4717 Rep. HILL proposes the following Amendment No. 5 to H. 4717 (COUNCIL\BBM\4717C009.BBM.DG16):

Reference is to Printer's Date 2/11/14-H.

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking SECTION 2 and inserting:

/ SECTION      2.      Chapter 1, Title 46 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

     "Section 46-1-160.      (A)(1)      There is created the 'South Carolina Farm Aid Fund'. This fund is separate and distinct from the general fund of the State and all other funds. Earnings on this fund must be credited to it and any balance in this fund at the end of a fiscal year carries forward in the fund in the succeeding fiscal year. Revenues credited to this fund in a fiscal year must be used to operate a loan program that provides financial assistance to farmers.
           (2)      To be eligible for a loan, the person must have:
           (a)      experienced a verifiable loss of agricultural commodities of at least forty percent as a result of a natural disaster, excluding drought, for which:
           (i)      the Governor declares a state of emergency in the State; and
           (ii)      the United States Secretary of Agriculture has issued a Secretarial Disaster Declaration for the county in which the farm is located;
           (b)      a farm number issued by the Farm Service Agency; and
           (c)      signed an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, certifying that each fact of the loss presented by the person is accurate.
     (B)(1)      There is created the Farm Aid Board. The board is composed of the following members:
           (a)      the Commissioner of Agriculture, ex officio, or his designee, who shall serve as chairman;
           (b)      one member representing South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee;
           (c)      one member representing a Farm Credit Association appointed by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee;
           (d)      one member of the crop insurance industry appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee;
           (e)      one agricultural commodities producer appointed by the Chairman of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee;
           (f)      the Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture of Clemson Public Service Activities, or his designee; and
           (g)      the Vice President for Land Grant Services of South Carolina State Public Service Activities, or his designee.
           (2)(a)      Within twenty days of the effective date of this section, the board shall hold its initial meeting to adopt an application process by which a person with a loss resulting from the flooding in October 2015, may apply for a loan. A person shall apply not later than forty-five days after the initial meeting of the board. The initial deposit of monies into the fund only may be used for such claims.
           (b)      For any other loss, the board shall set forth the process and application process by which a person may apply for loans.
           (3)(a)      Each loan awarded by the board must equal twenty percent of the person's verifiable loss of agricultural commodities. However, a person, including any loan made to a related person, may not receive loans aggregating more than one hundred thousand dollars with respect to any single major disaster. Also, a person, including any loan made to a related person, may not receive loans that when combined with losses covered by insurance, exceed one hundred percent of the actual loss. If a loan is made to a related person, the amount to be included in the limits set by this section must be the amount of the loan multiplied by the person's ownership interest in the related person. However, a person who shares an ownership interest with another person or entity may not be refused a loan solely because the other person or related person has otherwise received the maximum loan amount, but in this case, the person's loan amount is limited by the person's ownership interest.
           (b)      If the total amount of loans allowed pursuant to subitem (a) for a single major disaster exceeds the monies in the fund, then each person's loan must be reduced proportionately.
           (4)      To determine loss, the board:
           (a)      must measure the person's cumulative total loss of all affected agricultural commodities for the calendar year in which the eligible loss occurred against the person's expected production of all agricultural commodities affected by a qualifying natural disaster in the same year;
           (b)      shall use the person's applicable actual production history yield, as determined by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, to determine loss for insured agricultural commodities. In determining loss for uninsured agricultural commodities, the board shall use the most recent year's county price and county yield, as applicable, as determined by the National Agriculture Statistics Service, United States Department of Agriculture; and
           (c)      may require any documentation or proof it considers necessary to efficiently administer the loan program, including the ownership structure of each entity and the social security numbers of each owner. Minimally, in order to verify loss, the board shall require the submission of dated, signed, and continuous records. These records may include, but are not limited to, commercial receipts, settlement sheets, warehouse ledger sheets, pick records, load summaries, contemporaneous measurements, truck scale tickets, contemporaneous diaries, appraisals, ledgers of income, income statements of deposit slips, cash register tape, invoices for custom harvesting, u-pick records, and insurance documents.
           (5)      Any loan made pursuant to this section must be an interest-free loan, and must be repaid in full by no later than the fifth December thirty-first after the loan was granted.
     (C)      Grant awards must be used for agricultural production expenses and losses due to the declared disaster but does not include the purchase of new equipment. The board shall require any documentation it determines necessary to verify the appropriate use of grant awards, including receipts.
     (D)      If the board determines that a person who received a loan provided inaccurate information, then the person shall refund the entire amount of the loan within ninety days. If the board determines that a person who received a loan used the funds for ineligible expenses, then the person must refund the amount of the ineligible expenses within ninety days. If the person does not refund the appropriate amount, the Department of Revenue shall utilize the provisions of the Setoff Debt Collection Act to collect the money from the person.
     (E)      From the 2014-2015 Contingency Reserve Fund, there is appropriated $40,000,000 to the South Carolina Farm Aid Fund. Any funds from this appropriation remaining in the fund on June 30, 2017, shall lapse to the general fund.
     (F)      For tax year 2015, a taxpayer eligible for a loan pursuant to this section resulting from the flooding in October 2015, may elect to claim a property tax credit or income tax credit equal to the amount of loss, as determined by the board, minus any amounts covered by insurance and any loan amounts made pursuant to this section. However, the amount of the credit may not exceed the taxpayer's property tax or income tax liability, as applicable. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a taxpayer may file an amended income tax return for 2015 or claim a refund for property tax year 2015 for the purpose of claiming the credit. The Department of Revenue or appropriate county official, in consultation with the board, may require the taxpayer to produce whatever proof the department determines necessary to implement the provisions of this credit.
     (G)      The board may accept private funds, grants, and property to be used to make financial awards from the loan program.
     (H)      Staffing for the board must be provided by the staff of the Department of Agriculture.
     (I)      For purposes of this section:
           (1)      'Agricultural commodities' means wheat, cotton, flax, corn, dry beans, oats, barley, rye, tobacco, rice, peanuts, soybeans, sugar beets, sugar cane, tomatoes, grain sorghum, sunflowers, raisins, oranges, sweet corn, dry peas, freezing and canning peas, forage, apples, grapes, potatoes, timber and forests, nursery crops, citrus, and other fruits and vegetables, nuts, tame hay, native grass, aquacultural species including, but not limited to, any species of finfish, mollusk, crustacean, or other aquatic invertebrate, amphibian, reptile, or aquatic plant propagated or reared in a controlled or selected environment, excluding stored grain.
           (2)      'Person' means any individual, trust, estate, partnership, receiver, association, company, limited liability company, corporation, or other entity or group.
           (3)      'Related person' means any person, joint venture, or entity that has a direct or indirect ownership interest of a person or legal entity."            /

Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.