Current Status Introducing Body:
SenateBill Number: 1445Primary Sponsor: RoseCommittee Number: 11Type of Legislation: GBSubject: Unpaid governmental services fees, liens on propertyResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: JudiciaryComputer Document Number: 1445Introduced Date: 19940601Last History Body: SenateLast History Date: 19940601Last History Type: Introduced, read first time, referred to CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: RoseType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ____ ______ ____________ ______________________________ ___ ____________ 1445 Senate 19940601 Introduced, read first time, 11 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND CHAPTER 9, TITLE 4, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO COUNTY GOVERNMENT, SO AS TO ADD ARTICLE 15 WHICH ESTABLISHES A PROCEDURE WHEREBY UNPAID GOVERNMENTAL SERVICE FEES OR CHARGES MAY BECOME LIENS ON THE REAL PROPERTY SERVICED, INFERIOR ONLY TO AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAX LIENS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 9, Title 4 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 4-9-1300. (A) The term `governmental service fee or charge' shall mean any fee or charge imposed by any governing body of a county for services rendered with respect to a governmental service.
(B) The term `governmental service' shall mean any service or facility provided by a county for which a service fee or charge is imposed by the governing body of a county, including, but not limited to, drainage facilities, water treatment and distribution, sewage collection and treatment, police protection, fire protection or solid waste collection, disposal, or recycling.
Section 4-9-1310. (A) If the notice or notices prescribed by Section 4-9-1320 hereof shall have been given and any hearing requested pursuant thereto shall have been held, all service fees or charges, imposed by a county for governmental services and not paid when due and payable, shall be and constitute a lien upon the real estate to which the governmental service relates so long as the governmental service fees or charges remain unpaid.
(B) In addition to such other rights and remedies as may be available to a county in law or in equity for the collection of the governmental service fees or charges, the lien may be enforced by a county in the same manner and fashion as the lien of property taxes on real estate. The lien herein provided shall be superior to all other liens except liens for unpaid property taxes.
(C) The method provided in this article for the enforcement of the collection of past due governmental service fees or charges shall not be the exclusive method of enforcing such collections and a county is fully empowered to enforce the collection of any such governmental fees or charges in any other lawful manner.
Section 4-9-1320. (A) The county governing body shall determine on an annual basis the governmental service fees and charges which will, in accordance with Section 4-9-1310, constitute liens for that fiscal year.
(B) Prior to providing governmental services for which the prescribed governmental service fee or charge shall, pursuant to Section 4-9-1310, become a lien on the property affected, not less than ten days' written notice shall be given to each affected property owner notifying such property owner of the nature and amount of the governmental service fee or charge and providing such property owner an opportunity, if desired and requested, to appear and be heard in person or by counsel before such persons designated by the county governing body.
(C) Following such hearing, if such be requested and held, action shall be taken by the county and notice of its decision shall be given to the property owner concerned not less than ten days prior to the effective date of the governmental service fee or charge.
(D) Any property owner aggrieved by the action of the county may, under the provisions of Chapter 7, Title 18, appeal to the court of common pleas for the county in which the property affected lies to have such court review the action taken by the county, at which time the court will determine the validity and reasonableness of the governmental service fee or charge so made.
(E) The county governing body shall provide for reasonable notice of and a meaningful opportunity to be heard regarding any subsequent increase in governmental service fees or charges.
(F) Governmental service fees or charges not intended to become liens in the case of nonpayment can be imposed and subsequently increased upon any user in the county without such notice and hearing.
Section 4-9-1330. The county council of any county may request the county treasurer to include on each tax notice the amount of any fees or charges imposed by the county for governmental services and provide for the collection thereof in the manner prescribed by law.
Section 4-9-1340. The powers granted herein are intended to be supplementary to any powers now existing."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.