South Carolina Legislature


 

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H 4776
Session 117 (2007-2008) 

H 4776 General Bill, By Hutson, Knight, Kennedy, Kirsh, J.R. Smith, Perry, 
Hamilton, F.N. Smith, McLeod, Erickson, Allen, Dantzler, Davenport, Duncan, 
Hagood, Hardwick, Harvin, Jefferson, Limehouse, Mitchell, Pinson, M.A. Pitts, 
Rice, Scarborough, Williams and Witherspoon
 A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION
 48-52-475 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE SOUTH CAROLINA ENERGY INNOVATION AND
 DISCOVERY PROGRAM WITHIN THE STATE ENERGY OFFICE TO AWARD GRANTS TO ELIGIBLE
 RESIDENT COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS FOR THE INVENTION OF NEW APPLICATIONS WHICH
 WILL RESULT IN THE MORE EFFICIENT AND CLEAN USE OF CARBON FUELS OR THE MORE
 EFFICIENT DISPOSAL OF CARBON FUELS OR THE REMAINING RESIDUE OF CARBON FUELS
 AFTER COMBUSTION; AND BY ADDING SECTION 12-6-3725 SO AS TO PERMIT A RESIDENT
 TAXPAYER TO CLAIM AN INCOME TAX CREDIT UP TO A SPECIFIED AMOUNT FOR CAPITAL
 EXPENDITURES FOR THE INSTALLATION OF THESE ENERGY EFFICIENT DEVICES.

   02/27/08  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-49
   02/27/08  House  Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural
                     Resources and Environmental Affairs HJ-50



VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

2/27/2008



H. 4776

A BILL

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 48-52-475 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE SOUTH CAROLINA ENERGY INNOVATION AND DISCOVERY PROGRAM WITHIN THE STATE ENERGY OFFICE TO AWARD GRANTS TO ELIGIBLE RESIDENT COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS FOR THE INVENTION OF NEW APPLICATIONS WHICH WILL RESULT IN THE MORE EFFICIENT AND CLEAN USE OF CARBON FUELS OR THE MORE EFFICIENT DISPOSAL OF CARBON FUELS OR THE REMAINING RESIDUE OF CARBON FUELS AFTER COMBUSTION; AND BY ADDING SECTION 12-6-3725 SO AS TO PERMIT A RESIDENT TAXPAYER TO CLAIM AN INCOME TAX CREDIT UP TO A SPECIFIED AMOUNT FOR CAPITAL EXPENDITURES FOR THE INSTALLATION OF THESE ENERGY EFFICIENT DEVICES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION    1.    The General Assembly finds:

(1)    it is in the best interest of the citizens of this State for initiatives to be undertaken which makes the operation of business and industry located in South Carolina more energy efficient;

(2)    with recent problems being discovered with regard to the ozone layer and the gradual warming of the earth due to carbon emissions, it is incumbent upon all states to provide incentives for new endeavors to be as energy efficient as possible;

(3)    especially in the transportation area, motor vehicles, ships, trains, airplanes, and trucks are being required to be more energy efficient, with many states such as California requiring that lighter grades of fuel be burned in all types of vehicles;

(4)    in the waste disposal area, utilities and other enterprises are spending considerable sums in research and commercial applications to reduce pollutants generated into the atmosphere through such things as cleaner burning coal;

(5)    all of these undertakings will position South Carolina industries to be more competitive in the global marketplace while at the same time causing less damage to the earth's atmosphere and lessening the effects of global warming;

(6)    it is incumbent upon the State of South Carolina through legislative initiatives to encourage these kinds of environmentally friendly steps and by this act the General Assembly has determined to provide grants and tax incentives to South Carolina citizens and entities to facilitate further discoveries and improvements in this field.

SECTION    2.    Chapter 52, Title 48 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 48-52-475.    (A)    The General Assembly, beginning July 1, 2008, shall appropriate such funds as it considers appropriate but no less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars annually to the State Energy Office for the establishment of the South Carolina Energy Innovation and Discovery Program whereby grants shall be awarded over renewable periods of up to five years to South Carolina based companies and individuals for the invention of new applications which will result in the more efficient and clean use of carbon fuels or the more efficient disposal of carbon fuels or the remaining residue of carbon fuels after combustion. The Energy Advisory Committee as established in Section 48-52-440 shall make the final decisions on grant applications after considering the commercial viability of the process, invention, or improvement involved. The process, invention, or improvement must be capable of being awarded a patent by the United States Patent Office. The State Energy Office shall provide administrative support to the Energy Advisory Committee in the performance of its duties under this section. The Energy Advisory Committee is prohibited from transferring funds for this program to any other programs.

(B)    The committee must meet at least twice annually to review all applications for grants submitted by eligible companies and taxpayers. Eligible companies must have its principal office located in this State and eligible individuals must be residents of this State. No federal, state, or local agency, department, entity, or educational institution is eligible for these grants. The director of the State Energy Office may not have a role in selecting the recipient of a grant beyond advice to the committee, if solicited. All applications shall conform to and all grants must be awarded pursuant to criteria established by the committee. Eligible companies and individuals shall make application to the committee in a format prescribed by the committee, which shall include a detailed budget and timeline for completion of the project. All applications must be ranked based on scoring criteria set by the committee.

(C)    The committee has the authority, if it chooses, to incorporate a peer review method by selecting a panel of independent advisors or experts in the field of each application to provide guidance on those applications. Grants must be awarded in amounts determined by the committee from funds appropriated by the General Assembly.

(D)    The committee shall encourage all projects to be completed and funds expended within five years of the grant award. If a project exceeds this time frame, the applicant must ask the committee for an extension. The committee shall report to the Governor and General Assembly annually on the status of the program and the grants awarded under the program."

SECTION    3.    Chapter 6, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 12-6-3725.    (A)    For tax years that begin on or after January 1, 2008, a resident taxpayer may claim a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter as provided in subsection (B) for capital expenditures on energy efficient devices, inventions, and process improvements or applications developed by an eligible company or individual through use in whole or in part of a grant from the South Carolina Energy Innovation and Discovery Program established pursuant to Section 48-52-475.

(B)(1)    For the 2008 tax year and thereafter, the credit may not exceed twenty-five percent of the taxpayer's capital expenditures for these energy efficient devices in any year or the taxpayer's tax liability under this chapter for that year, whichever is less;

(2)    any tax credits not used in a particular year may be carried forward and used in succeeding tax years until the credit is exhausted.

(C)    If an energy efficient device, invention, or process improvement or application was not developed by an eligible company or individual through the use in whole or in part of a grant from the South Carolina Energy Innovation and Discovery Program but the Energy Advisory Committee certifies to the Department of Revenue upon application of the developing company or individual that the device, invention, or process improvement or application meets the criteria for a grant award under Section 48-52-475 in that it is the invention of a new application which results in the more efficient and clean use of carbon fuels or the more efficient disposal of carbon fuels or their remaining residue after combustion, a resident taxpayer investing in such a device is nevertheless eligible for the income credits authorized by this section under the terms and conditions of this section."

SECTION    4.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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