South Carolina General Assembly
111th Session, 1995-1996

Bill 3323

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

                    Current Status

Bill Number:                       3323
Type of Legislation:               General Bill GB
Introducing Body:                  House
Introduced Date:                   19950119
Primary Sponsor:                   Martin
All Sponsors:                      Martin, Kelley, Keegan, Thomas,
                                   Harrison, Baxley, Witherspoon, Riser,
                                   Hutson, Kinon, Canty, Harvin,
                                   Elliott, Sharpe, Jennings, H. Brown,
                                   Beatty, Quinn, Fleming, Hodges,
                                   J. Young, McAbee, Richardson,
                                   Sandifer, Rhoad, Govan, Townsend,
                                   Huff, Tucker, Cooper, Fulmer, McKay,
                                   Wilkins, Rogers, T. Brown, Wofford,
                                   D. Smith and Askins 
Drafted Document Number:           PT\1644DW.95
Residing Body:                     House
Current Committee:                 Education and Public Works
                                   Committee 21 HEPW
Subject:                           Transportation facilities


Body    Date      Action Description                       Com     Leg Involved
______  ________  _______________________________________  _______ ____________

House   19950119  Introduced, read first time,             21 HEPW
                  referred to Committee

View additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)



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

SECTION 1. In furtherance of the powers granted to the counties of this State pursuant to the provisions of Section 4-9-30, and Section 6-21-10 et seq., of the 1976 Code, each of the counties of this State is authorized, following the public hearing and referendum required in this act to establish transportation authorities to finance the cost of acquiring, constructing, equipping and operating highways, roads, streets, and bridges, either alone or in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

SECTION 2. Title 4 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:


Optional Methods for Financing Transportation Facilities

Section 4-37-10. (A) Subject to requirements of this chapter and the referendum described in Section 4-37-30, the governing body of a county may by ordinance establish a transportation authority with all of the rights and powers described in Section 4-37-20. If a county chooses to finance the cost of highways, roads, streets, and bridges alone, the members of the authority board must be appointed by the county governing body in the manner it determines.

(B) If a county chooses to enter into a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the South Carolina Highway Commission must have designated appointees on the authority board as provided in an intergovernmental agreement to be entered into by the partners.

Section 4-37-20. The board of the authority has all the rights and powers of a public body, politic and corporate of this State including, without limitation, all the rights and powers necessary or convenient to manage the business and affairs of the authority and to take action as it may consider advisable, necessary, or convenient in carrying out its powers including, but not limited to, the following rights and powers:

(1) to have perpetual succession;

(2) to sue and be sued;

(3) to adopt, use, and alter a seal;

(4) to make and amend bylaws for regulation of its affairs consistent with the provisions of this chapter;

(5) to acquire, purchase, hold, use, improve, lease, mortgage, pledge, sell, transfer, and dispose of any property, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest in any property, or revenues of the authority as security for notes, bonds, evidences of indebtedness, or other obligations of the authority;

(6) to borrow money, make and issue notes, bonds, and other evidences of indebtedness; to secure the payment of the obligations or any part by mortgage, lien, pledge, or deed of trust, on any of its property, contracts, franchises, or revenues;

(7) to make contracts, including service contracts with a person, corporation, or partnership including, without limitation, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, to provide the facilities and services provided herein;

(8) to exercise the powers of eminent domain; and

(9) execute all instruments necessary or convenient for the carrying out of business.

Section 4-37-30. Counties establishing an authority are empowered to impose one or both of the following sources of revenue:

(A) Subject to the requirements of this section, the governing body of a county may by ordinance impose a one percent sales and use tax within its jurisdiction for a specific purpose and for a specific period of time to collect a limited amount of money.

(1) The governing body of a county may vote to impose the tax authorized by this section, subject to a referendum, by enacting an ordinance. The ordinance must specify:

(a) the purpose for which the proceeds of the tax is to be used, which may include projects located within or without, or both within and without, the boundaries of the county imposing the tax and which may include:

(i) highways, roads, streets, and bridges;

(ii) jointly operated projects of the county and the South Carolina Department of Transportation;

(b) the maximum time, stated in calendar years or calendar quarters, or a combination of them, not to exceed twenty-five years, for which the tax may be imposed; and

(c) the maximum cost of the project or facilities to be funded in whole or in part from proceeds of the tax and the maximum amount of net proceeds to be raised by the tax.

(2) Upon receipt of the ordinance, the county election commission shall conduct a referendum on the question of imposing the optional special sales and use tax in the jurisdiction. The referendum must be held on the first Tuesday occurring sixty days after the election commission receives the ordinance. If that Tuesday is a legal holiday then the referendum must be held on the next succeeding Tuesday that is not a holiday. The commission shall publish the date and purpose of the referendum once a week for four consecutive weeks immediately preceding the date of the referendum, in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction. A public hearing must be conducted at least fourteen days prior to the referendum, after publication of a notice setting forth the date, time, and location of the public hearing. The notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least fourteen days prior to the date fixed for the public hearing.

(3) A separate question must be included on the referendum ballot for each purpose and the question must read substantially as follows:

`Must a special one percent sales and use tax be imposed in (county) for not more than (time) to raise the amounts specified for the following purposes:

(1) $_________________ for _________________

Yes _______

No _______

(2) etc.'

In addition, the referendum shall contain a question on the authorization of the bonds as general obligation bonds under the exemption provided in Section 14(6), Article X of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, so that revenues derived from the imposition of the optional sales and use tax may be pledged to the repayment of the bonds.

(4) All qualified electors desiring to vote in favor of imposing the tax for a particular purpose shall vote `yes' and all qualified electors opposed to levying the tax for a particular purpose shall vote `no'. If a majority of the votes cast are in favor of imposing the tax for one or more of the specified purposes, then the tax is imposed as provided in this section; otherwise, the tax is not imposed. A subsequent referendum on this question must not be held more than once in twelve months. The election commission shall conduct the referendum under the election laws of this State, mutatis mutandis, and shall certify the result no later than December thirty-first to the appropriate governing body and to the Department of Revenue and Taxation. Included in the certification must be the total of the project costs receiving a favorable vote. Expenses of the referendum must be paid by the jurisdiction conducting the referendum. If the tax is approved in the referendum, the tax is imposed effective the first day of the month occurring one hundred eighty days after the date of the referendum. If the certification is not timely made to the Department of Revenue and Taxation, the imposition is postponed for twelve months.

(5) The tax terminates on the earlier of:

(a) the final day of the maximum time specified for the imposition; or

(b) the end of the calendar month during which the Department of Revenue and Taxation determines that the tax has raised revenues sufficient to provide the county net proceeds equal to or greater than the amount specified as the amount to be raised by the tax.

(6) When the optional sales and use tax is imposed for more than one purpose, the governing body of the jurisdiction authorizing the referendum for the tax shall determine the priority for the expenditure of the net proceeds of the tax for the purposes stated in the referendum.

(7) Amounts collected in excess of the required proceeds must first be applied, if necessary, to complete a project for which the tax was imposed; otherwise, the excess amounts must be credited to the general fund of the jurisdiction imposing the tax for infrastructure use only.

(8) The tax levied pursuant to this section must be administered and collected by the Department of Revenue and Taxation in the same manner that other sales and use taxes are collected. The department may prescribe the amounts which may be added to the sales price because of the tax.

(9) The tax authorized by this section is in addition to all other local sales and use taxes and applies to the gross proceeds of sales in the applicable jurisdiction which are subject to the tax imposed by Chapter 36 of Title 12 and the enforcement provisions of Chapter 54 of Title 12. The gross proceeds of the sale of items subject to a maximum tax in Chapter 36 of Title 12 are exempt from the tax imposed by this section. The gross proceeds of the sale of food lawfully purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food stamps are exempt from the tax imposed by this section. The tax imposed by this section also applies to tangible personal property subject to the use tax in Article 13, Chapter 36 of Title 12.

(10) Taxpayers required to remit taxes under Article 13, Chapter 36 of Title 12 shall identify the county in which the tangible personal property purchased at retail is stored, used, or consumed in this State.

(11) Utilities are required to report sales in the county in which consumption of the tangible personal property occurs.

(12) A taxpayer subject to the tax imposed by Section 12-36-920, who owns or manages rental units in more than one county shall separately report in his sales tax return the total gross proceeds from business done in each county.

(13) The gross proceeds of sales of tangible personal property delivered after the imposition date of the tax levied under this section in a county, either under the terms of a construction contract executed before the imposition date, or a written bid submitted before the imposition date, culminating in a construction contract entered into before or after the imposition date, are exempt from the special local sales and use tax provided in this section if a verified copy of the contract is filed with the Department of Revenue and Taxation within six months after the imposition of the special local sales and use tax.

(14) Notwithstanding the imposition date of the special local sales and use tax authorized pursuant to this section, with respect to services that are regularly billed on a monthly basis, the special local sales and use tax is imposed beginning on the first day of the billing period beginning on or after the imposition date.

(15) The revenues of the tax collected in each county under this section must be remitted to the State Treasurer and credited to a fund separate and distinct from the general fund of the State. After deducting the amount of refunds made and costs to the Department of Revenue and Taxation of administering the tax, not to exceed one percent of the revenues, the State Treasurer shall distribute the revenues quarterly to the county in which the tax is imposed and these revenues must be used only for the purpose stated in the imposition ordinance. The State Treasurer may correct misallocation costs or refunds by adjusting subsequent distributions, but these adjustments must be made in the same fiscal year as the misallocation.

(16) The Department of Revenue and Taxation shall furnish data to the State Treasurer and to the counties receiving revenues for the purpose of calculating distributions and estimating revenues. The information which must be supplied to counties upon request includes, but is not limited to, gross receipts, net taxable sales, and tax liability by taxpayers. Information about a specific taxpayer is considered confidential and is governed by the provisions of Section 12-54-240. A person violating this section is subject to the penalties provided in Section 12-54-240.

(17) The Department of Revenue and Taxation may promulgate regulations necessary to implement this section.

(B)(1) This item is intended to provide an additional and alternative method for the provision of and financing for highways, roads, streets, and bridges, either alone or jointly with the Department of Transportation to the end that these transportation facilities may be undertaken in such manner as may best be calculated to expedite relief of hazardous and congested traffic conditions on the highways in the State, including the authorization for turnpike projects undertaken by the Department of Transportation in Article 9 of Chapter 5 of Title 57.

(2) If the authority enters into a partnership with the Department of Transportation relating to such turnpike facilities, the authority may designate, establish, plan, improve, construct, maintain, operate, and regulate designated highways, roads, streets, and bridges as `turnpike facilities' as a part of the state highway system or any federal aid system whenever the authority determines the traffic conditions, present or future, justifies these facilities. Under such partnership arrangement, the authority may utilize funds available for the maintenance of the state highway system, for the maintenance of any turnpike facility financed pursuant to this chapter. If the authority determines it is feasible to make all or part of a construction project a turnpike facility, it may engage in the preliminary estimates and studies incident to the determination of the feasibility or practicability of constructing any toll road as it from time to time considers necessary and the cost of the preliminary estimates and studies may be paid from the general highway fund and must be reimbursed from funds provided under this chapter only if the studies and estimates lead to the construction of a toll road.

(3) Under the partnership arrangement, the authority may acquire such lands and property, including rights of access as may be needed for turnpike facilities, by gift, devise, purchase, or condemnation by easement or in fee simple as authorized by law on or after the effective date of this chapter for acquiring property or property rights in connection with other state highways.

(4) In designating, establishing, planning, abandoning, improving, constructing, maintaining, and regulating turnpike facilities, the authority may exercise such authorizations as are granted generally to the Department of Transportation by the statutory law applicable to the state highway system, except as they may be inconsistent with the provisions included in this chapter.

(5) Whenever it becomes necessary that monies be raised for the transportation facilities described in this chapter, the authority may issue toll revenue bonds to provide all or a portion of the cost of these facilities after adopting its resolution setting forth the following:

(a) the toll facility proposed to be constructed;

(b) the amount required for feasibility studies, planning, design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction of the toll facility;

(c) a tentative time schedule setting forth the period of time for which the toll shall be imposed;

(d) a debt service table showing the estimated annual principal and interest requirements for the proposed toll revenue bonds;

(e) any feasibility study obtained by the authority relating to the proposed toll facility;

(f) any covenants to be made in the bond resolution respecting competition between the proposed toll facility and possible future highways whose construction would have an adverse effect upon the toll revenues which would otherwise be derived by the proposed toll facility.

(6) In addition to the powers listed above, the authority may in connection with such toll facilities:

(a) fix and revise from time to time and charge and collect tolls for transit over each turnpike facility constructed by it;

(b) combine, for the purpose of financing the facilities any two or more turnpike facilities;

(c) control access to turnpike facilities;

(d) to the extent permitted by a bond resolution, expend turnpike facility revenues in advertising the facilities and services of the turnpike facility or facilities to the traveling public;

(e) receive and accept from any federal agency grants for or in the aid of the construction of any turnpike facility;

(f) do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this chapter;

(g) enter into contracts with the Department of Transportation for sharing the cost of building and the revenues derived from the facilities authorized in this chapter and for the operation and maintenance of the facilities.

(C) It is intended that this chapter is an additional and alternative method of financing highway and bridge projects to those already provided under the provisions of the State Highway Bond Act (Section 57-11-210), the State Turnpike Bond Act (Section 57-5-1310 et seq.), the Revenue Bond Act for Utilities (Section 6-21-10 et seq.), and Section 4-9-30(5)."

SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.