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3641Ratification Number: 199Act Number: 118Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19990302Primary Sponsor: HarrisonAll Sponsors: Harrison, Seithel, Altman, Wilkins, EdgeDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\dka\3236mm99.docCompanion Bill Number: 545Date Bill Passed both Bodies: 19990623Date of Last Amendment: 19990623Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 19990630Subject: Development Impact Fee Act, Political Subdivisions, Taxation, Municipal Improvements Act, BusinessesHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 19990721 Act No. A118 ------ 19990630 Signed by Governor ------ 19990624 Ratified R199 House 19990623 Ordered enrolled for ratification House 19990623 Free Conference Committee Report 99 HFCC adopted House 19990623 Free Conference Powers granted, 99 HFCC R. Smith appointed Reps. to Committee of Edge Free Conference Quinn Senate 19990623 Free Conference Committee Report 89 SFCC adopted Senate 19990623 Free Conference Powers granted, 89 SFCC McConnell appointed Senators to Committee Cork of Free Conference Rankin House 19990603 Conference powers granted, 98 HCC R. Smith appointed Reps. to Committee of Edge Conference Quinn Senate 19990603 Conference powers granted, 88 SCC McConnell appointed Senators to Committee Cork of Conference Rankin Senate 19990603 Insists upon amendment House 19990603 Non-concurrence in Senate amendment Senate 19990603 Amended, read third time, returned to House with amendment Senate 19990602 Amended, read second time, ordered to third reading with notice of general amendments Senate 19990527 Recalled from Committee, 11 SJ placed on the Calendar Senate 19990525 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee House 19990520 Read third time, sent to Senate House 19990519 Read second time House 19990519 Objection by Representative J. Smith House 19990519 Amended House 19990513 Request for debate withdrawn by Representative T. Brown House 19990513 Request for debate withdrawn by Representative Fleming R. Smith Harrison Hawkins House 19990506 Objection and request for debate withdrawn by Representative Simrill Keegan House 19990505 Request for debate by Representative Hawkins Fleming R. Smith Keegan Harrison T. Brown House 19990505 Objection by Representative Simrill Kirsh House 19990504 Debate adjourned until Wednesday, 19990505 House 19990428 Committee report: Favorable with 30 HWM amendment House 19990428 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Edge House 19990420 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Wilkins House 19990414 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Altman House 19990330 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Seithel House 19990302 Introduced, read first time, 30 HWM referred to Committee Versions of This Bill Revised on April 28, 1999 - Word format Revised on May 19, 1999 - Word format Revised on May 27, 1999 - Word format Revised on June 2, 1999 - Word format Revised on June 3, 1999 - Word format Revised on June 23, 1999 - Word format
(A118, R199, H3641)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 6, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT, BY ADDING ARTICLE 9 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE IMPOSITION OF A DEVELOPMENT IMPACT FEE BY A COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY BY ORDINANCE; TO PROVIDE FOR AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR RECOMMENDING, AND PROCEDURES FOR ADOPTING, LAND USE ASSUMPTIONS, A CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PLAN, AND IMPACT FEES; TO PROVIDE FOR COMPUTATION OF THE PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF COSTS OF NEW PUBLIC FACILITIES NEEDED TO SERVE NEW GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT; AND TO LIMIT THE USES OF THE REVENUE COLLECTED FROM A DEVELOPMENT IMPACT FEE TO APPLICATION TOWARD THE INCREASED COST OF SERVING NEW GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT; TO AMEND CHAPTER 37, TITLE 5, RELATING TO MUNICIPAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS, SO AS TO ENACT THE MUNICIPAL IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 1999 TO FURTHER DEFINE THE POWERS OF A MUNICIPAL GOVERNING BODY WITH RESPECT TO FINANCING AND LEVYING ASSESSMENTS UPON THOSE DISTRICTS, TO REQUIRE CONSENT FROM AN AFFECTED COUNTY OR OTHER MUNICIPALITY BEFORE SPENDING REVENUE FOR IMPROVEMENTS LOCATED THERE, AND TO PROHIBIT USE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY IN AN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT ABSENT WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE OWNER; AND TO AMEND SECTION 33-45-30, RELATING TO AUTHORITY OF COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE ASSOCIATION OF MEMBERS OF A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY AS A COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Development Impact Fee Act
SECTION 1. Chapter 1, Title 6 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 6-1-910. This article may be cited as the 'South Carolina Development Impact Fee Act'.
Section 6-1-920. As used in this article:
(1) 'Affordable housing' means housing affordable to families whose incomes do not exceed eighty percent of the median income for the service area or areas within the jurisdiction of the governmental entity.
(2) 'Capital improvements' means improvements with a useful life of five years or more, by new construction or other action, which increase or increased the service capacity of a public facility.
(3) 'Capital improvements plan' means a plan that identifies capital improvements for which development impact fees may be used as a funding source.
(4) 'Connection charges' and 'hookup charges' mean charges for the actual cost of connecting a property to a public water or public sewer system, limited to labor and materials involved in making pipe connections, installation of water meters, and other actual costs.
(5) 'Developer' means an individual or corporation, partnership, or other entity undertaking development.
(6) 'Development' means construction or installation of a new building or structure, or a change in use of a building or structure, any of which creates additional demand and need for public facilities. A building or structure shall include, but not be limited to, modular buildings and manufactured housing. 'Development' does not include alterations made to existing single-family homes.
(7) 'Development approval' means a document from a governmental entity which authorizes the commencement of a development.
(8) 'Development impact fee' or 'impact fee' means a payment of money imposed as a condition of development approval to pay a proportionate share of the cost of system improvements needed to serve the people utilizing the improvements. The term does not include:
(a) a charge or fee to pay the administrative, plan review, or inspection costs associated with permits required for development;
(b) connection or hookup charges;
(c) amounts collected from a developer in a transaction in which the governmental entity has incurred expenses in constructing capital improvements for the development if the owner or developer has agreed to be financially responsible for the construction or installation of the capital improvements;
(d) fees authorized by Article 3 of this chapter.
(9) 'Development permit' means a permit issued for construction on or development of land when no subsequent building permit issued pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 6 is required.
(10) 'Fee payor' means the individual or legal entity that pays or is required to pay a development impact fee.
(11) 'Governmental entity' means a county, as provided in Chapter 9, Title 4, and a municipality, as defined in Section 5-1-20.
(12) 'Incidental benefits' are benefits which accrue to a property as a secondary result or as a minor consequence of the provision of public facilities to another property.
(13) 'Land use assumptions' means a description of the service area and projections of land uses, densities, intensities, and population in the service area over at least a ten-year period.
(14) 'Level of service' means a measure of the relationship between service capacity and service demand for public facilities.
(15) 'Local planning commission' means the entity created pursuant to Article 1, Chapter 29, Title 6.
(16) 'Project' means a particular development on an identified parcel of land.
(17) 'Proportionate share' means that portion of the cost of system improvements determined pursuant to Section 6-1-990 which reasonably relates to the service demands and needs of the project.
(18) 'Public facilities' means:
(a) water supply production, treatment, laboratory, engineering, administration, storage, and transmission facilities;
(b) wastewater collection, treatment, laboratory, engineering, administration, and disposal facilities;
(c) solid waste and recycling collection, treatment, and disposal facilities;
(d) roads, streets, and bridges including, but not limited to, rights-of-way and traffic signals;
(e) storm water transmission, retention, detention, treatment, and disposal facilities and flood control facilities;
(f) public safety facilities, including law enforcement, fire, emergency medical and rescue, and street lighting facilities;
(g) capital equipment and vehicles, with an individual unit purchase price of not less than one hundred thousand dollars including, but not limited to, equipment and vehicles used in the delivery of public safety services, emergency preparedness services, collection and disposal of solid waste, and storm water management and control;
(h) parks, libraries, and recreational facilities.
(19) 'Service area' means, based on sound planning or engineering principles, or both, a defined geographic area in which specific public facilities provide service to development within the area defined. Provided, however, that no provision in this article may be interpreted to alter, enlarge, or reduce the service area or boundaries of a political subdivision which is authorized or set by law.
(20) 'Service unit' means a standardized measure of consumption, use, generation, or discharge attributable to an individual unit of development calculated in accordance with generally accepted engineering or planning standards for a particular category of capital improvements.
(21) 'System improvements' means capital improvements to public facilities which are designed to provide service to a service area.
(22) 'System improvement costs' means costs incurred for construction or reconstruction of system improvements, including design, acquisition, engineering, and other costs attributable to the improvements, and also including the costs of providing additional public facilities needed to serve new growth and development. System improvement costs do not include:
(a) construction, acquisition, or expansion of public facilities other than capital improvements identified in the capital improvements plan;
(b) repair, operation, or maintenance of existing or new capital improvements;
(c) upgrading, updating, expanding, or replacing existing capital improvements to serve existing development in order to meet stricter safety, efficiency, environmental, or regulatory standards;
(d) upgrading, updating, expanding, or replacing existing capital improvements to provide better service to existing development;
(e) administrative and operating costs of the governmental entity; or
(f) principal payments and interest or other finance charges on bonds or other indebtedness except financial obligations issued by or on behalf of the governmental entity to finance capital improvements identified in the capital improvements plan.
Section 6-1-930. (A)(1) Only a governmental entity that has a comprehensive plan, as provided in Chapter 29 of this title, and which complies with the requirements of this article may impose a development impact fee. If a governmental entity has not adopted a comprehensive plan, but has adopted a capital improvements plan which substantially complies with the requirements of Section 6-1-960(B), then it may impose a development impact fee. A governmental entity may not impose an impact fee, regardless of how it is designated, except as provided in this article. However, a special purpose district or public service district which (a) provides fire protection services or recreation services, (b) was created by act of the General Assembly prior to 1973, and (c) had the power to impose development impact fees prior to the effective date of this section is not prohibited from imposing development impact fees.
(2) Before imposing a development impact fee on residential units, a governmental entity shall prepare a report which estimates the effect of recovering capital costs through impact fees on the availability of affordable housing within the political jurisdiction of the governmental entity.
(B)(1) An impact fee may be imposed and collected by the governmental entity only upon the passage of an ordinance approved by a positive majority, as defined in Article 3 of this chapter.
(2) The amount of the development impact fee must be based on actual improvement costs or reasonable estimates of the costs, supported by sound engineering studies.
(3) An ordinance authorizing the imposition of a development impact fee must:
(a) establish a procedure for timely processing of applications for determinations by the governmental entity of development impact fees applicable to all property subject to impact fees and for the timely processing of applications for individual assessment of development impact fees, credits, or reimbursements allowed or paid under this article;
(b) include a description of acceptable levels of service for system improvements; and
(c) provide for the termination of the impact fee.
(C) A governmental entity shall prepare and publish an annual report describing the amount of all impact fees collected, appropriated, or spent during the preceding year by category of public facility and service area.
(D) Payment of an impact fee may result in an incidental benefit to property owners or developers within the service area other than the fee payor, except that an impact fee that results in benefits to property owners or developers within the service area, other than the fee payor, in an amount which is greater than incidental benefits is prohibited.
Section 6-1-940. A governmental entity imposing an impact fee must provide in the impact fee ordinance the amount of impact fee due for each unit of development in a project for which an individual building permit or certificate of occupancy is issued. The governmental entity is bound by the amount of impact fee specified in the ordinance and may not charge higher or additional impact fees for the same purpose unless the number of service units increases or the scope of the development changes and the amount of additional impact fees is limited to the amount attributable to the additional service units or change in scope of the development. The impact fee ordinance must:
(1) include an explanation of the calculation of the impact fee, including an explanation of the factors considered pursuant to this article;
(2) specify the system improvements for which the impact fee is intended to be used;
(3) inform the developer that he may pay a project's proportionate share of system improvement costs by payment of impact fees according to the fee schedule as full and complete payment of the developer's proportionate share of system improvements costs;
(4) inform the fee payor that:
(a) he may negotiate and contract for facilities or services with the governmental entity in lieu of the development impact fee as defined in Section 6-1-1050;
(b) he has the right of appeal, as provided in Section 6-1-1030;
(c) the impact fee must be paid no earlier than the time of issuance of the building permit or issuance of a development permit if no building permit is required.
Section 6-1-950. (A) The governing body of a governmental entity begins the process for adoption of an ordinance imposing an impact fee by enacting a resolution directing the local planning commission to conduct the studies and to recommend an impact fee ordinance, developed in accordance with the requirements of this article. Under no circumstances may the governing body of a governmental entity impose an impact fee for any public facility which has been paid for entirely by the developer.
(B) Upon receipt of the resolution enacted pursuant to subsection (A), the local planning commission shall develop, within the time designated in the resolution, and make recommendations to the governmental entity for a capital improvements plan and impact fees by service unit. The local planning commission shall prepare and adopt its recommendations in the same manner and using the same procedures as those used for developing recommendations for a comprehensive plan as provided in Article 3, Chapter 29, Title 6, except as otherwise provided in this article. The commission shall review and update the capital improvements plan and impact fees in the same manner and on the same review cycle as the governmental entity's comprehensive plan or elements of it.
Section 6-1-960. (A) The local planning commission shall recommend to the governmental entity a capital improvements plan which may be adopted by the governmental entity by ordinance. The recommendations of the commission are not binding on the governmental entity, which may amend or alter the plan. After reasonable public notice, a public hearing must be held before final action to adopt the ordinance approving the capital improvements plan. The notice must be published not less than thirty days before the time of the hearing in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county. The notice must advise the public of the time and place of the hearing, that a copy of the capital improvements plan is available for public inspection in the offices of the governmental entity, and that members of the public will be given an opportunity to be heard.
(B) The capital improvements plan must contain:
(1) a general description of all existing public facilities, and their existing deficiencies, within the service area or areas of the governmental entity, a reasonable estimate of all costs, and a plan to develop the funding resources, including existing sources of revenues, related to curing the existing deficiencies including, but not limited to, the upgrading, updating, improving, expanding, or replacing of these facilities to meet existing needs and usage;
(2) an analysis of the total capacity, the level of current usage, and commitments for usage of capacity of existing public facilities, which must be prepared by a qualified professional using generally accepted principles and professional standards;
(3) a description of the land use assumptions;
(4) a definitive table establishing the specific service unit for each category of system improvements and an equivalency or conversion table establishing the ratio of a service unit to various types of land uses, including residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial, as appropriate;
(5) a description of all system improvements and their costs necessitated by and attributable to new development in the service area, based on the approved land use assumptions, to provide a level of service not to exceed the level of service currently existing in the community or service area, unless a different or higher level of service is required by law, court order, or safety consideration;
(6) the total number of service units necessitated by and attributable to new development within the service area based on the land use assumptions and calculated in accordance with generally accepted engineering or planning criteria;
(7) the projected demand for system improvements required by new service units projected over a reasonable period of time not to exceed twenty years;
(8) identification of all sources and levels of funding available to the governmental entity for the financing of the system improvements; and
(9) a schedule setting forth estimated dates for commencing and completing construction of all improvements identified in the capital improvements plan.
(C) Changes in the capital improvements plan must be approved in the same manner as approval of the original plan.
Section 6-1-970. The following structures or activities are exempt from impact fees:
(1) rebuilding the same amount of floor space of a structure that was destroyed by fire or other catastrophe;
(2) remodeling or repairing a structure that does not result in an increase in the number of service units;
(3) replacing a residential unit, including a manufactured home, with another residential unit on the same lot, if the number of service units does not increase;
(4) placing a construction trailer or office on a lot during the period of construction on the lot;
(5) constructing an addition on a residential structure which does not increase the number of service units;
(6) adding uses that are typically accessory to residential uses, such as a tennis court or a clubhouse, unless it is demonstrated clearly that the use creates a significant impact on the system's capacity; and
(7) all or part of a particular development project if:
(a) the project is determined to create affordable housing; and
(b) the exempt development's proportionate share of system improvements is funded through a revenue source other than development impact fees.
Section 6-1-980. (A) The impact fee for each service unit may not exceed the amount determined by dividing the costs of the capital improvements by the total number of projected service units that potentially could use the capital improvement. If the number of new service units projected over a reasonable period of time is less than the total number of new service units shown by the approved land use assumptions at full development of the service area, the maximum impact fee for each service unit must be calculated by dividing the costs of the part of the capital improvements necessitated by and attributable to the projected new service units by the total projected new service units.
(B) An impact fee must be calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Section 6-1-990. (A) The impact fee imposed upon a fee payor may not exceed a proportionate share of the costs incurred by the governmental entity in providing system improvements to serve the new development. The proportionate share is the cost attributable to the development after the governmental entity reduces the amount to be imposed by the following factors:
(1) appropriate credit, offset, or contribution of money, dedication of land, or construction of system improvements; and
(2) all other sources of funding the system improvements including funds obtained from economic development incentives or grants secured which are not required to be repaid.
(B) In determining the proportionate share of the cost of system improvements to be paid, the governmental entity imposing the impact fee must consider the:
(1) cost of existing system improvements resulting from new development within the service area or areas;
(2) means by which existing system improvements have been financed;
(3) extent to which the new development contributes to the cost of system improvements;
(4) extent to which the new development is required to contribute to the cost of existing system improvements in the future;
(5) extent to which the new development is required to provide system improvements, without charge to other properties within the service area or areas;
(6) time and price differentials inherent in a fair comparison of fees paid at different times; and
(7) availability of other sources of funding system improvements including, but not limited to, user charges, general tax levies, intergovernmental transfers, and special taxation.
Section 6-1-1000. A developer required to pay a development impact fee may not be required to pay more than his proportionate share of the costs of the project, including the payment of money or contribution or dedication of land, or to oversize his facilities for use of others outside of the project without fair compensation or reimbursement.
Section 6-1-1010. (A) Revenues from all development impact fees must be maintained in one or more interest-bearing accounts. Accounting records must be maintained for each category of system improvements and the service area in which the fees are collected. Interest earned on development impact fees must be considered funds of the account on which it is earned, and must be subject to all restrictions placed on the use of impact fees pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(B) Expenditures of development impact fees must be made only for the category of system improvements and within or for the benefit of the service area for which the impact fee was imposed as shown by the capital improvements plan and as authorized in this article. Impact fees may not be used for:
(1) a purpose other than system improvement costs to create additional improvements to serve new growth;
(2) a category of system improvements other than that for which they were collected; or
(3) the benefit of service areas other than the area for which they were imposed.
Section 6-1-1020. (A) An impact fee must be refunded to the owner of record of property on which a development impact fee has been paid if:
(1) the impact fees have not been expended within three years of the date they were scheduled to be expended on a first-in, first-out basis; or
(2) a building permit or permit for installation of a manufactured home is denied.
(B) When the right to a refund exists, the governmental entity shall send a refund to the owner of record within ninety days after it is determined by the entity that a refund is due.
(C) A refund must include the pro rata portion of interest earned while on deposit in the impact fee account.
(D) A person entitled to a refund has standing to sue for a refund pursuant to this article if there has not been a timely payment of a refund pursuant to subsection (B) of this section.
Section 6-1-1030. (A) A governmental entity which adopts a development impact fee ordinance shall provide for administrative appeals by the developer or fee payor.
(B) A fee payor may pay a development impact fee under protest. A fee payor making the payment is not estopped from exercising the right of appeal provided in this article, nor is the fee payor estopped from receiving a refund of an amount considered to have been illegally collected. Instead of making a payment of an impact fee under protest, a fee payor, at his option, may post a bond or submit an irrevocable letter of credit for the amount of impact fees due, pending the outcome of an appeal.
(C) A governmental entity which adopts a development impact fee ordinance shall provide for mediation by a qualified independent party, upon voluntary agreement by both the fee payor and the governmental entity, to address a disagreement related to the impact fee for proposed development. Participation in mediation does not preclude the fee payor from pursuing other remedies provided for in this section or otherwise available by law.
Section 6-1-1040. A governmental entity may provide in a development impact fee ordinance the method for collection of development impact fees including, but not limited to:
(1) additions to the fee for reasonable interest and penalties for nonpayment or late payment;
(2) withholding of the certificate of occupancy, or building permit if no certificate of occupancy is required, until the development impact fee is paid;
(3) withholding of utility services until the development impact fee is paid; and
(4) imposing liens for failure to pay timely a development impact fee.
Section 6-1-1050. A fee payor and developer may enter into an agreement with a governmental entity, including an agreement entered into pursuant to the South Carolina Local Government Development Agreement Act, providing for payments instead of impact fees for facilities or services. That agreement may provide for the construction or installation of system improvements by the fee payor or developer and for credits or reimbursements for costs incurred by a fee payor or developer including interproject transfers of credits or reimbursement for project improvements which are used or shared by more than one development project. An impact fee may not be imposed on a fee payor or developer who has entered into an agreement as described in this section.
Section 6-1-1060. (A) The provisions of this article do not repeal existing laws authorizing a governmental entity to impose fees or require contributions or property dedications for capital improvements. A development impact fee adopted in accordance with existing laws before the enactment of this article is not affected until termination of the development impact fee. A subsequent change or reenactment of the development impact fee must comply with the provisions of this article. Requirements for developers to pay in whole or in part for system improvements may be imposed by governmental entities only by way of impact fees imposed pursuant to the ordinance.
(B) Notwithstanding another provision of this article, property for which a valid building permit or certificate of occupancy has been issued or construction has commenced before the effective date of a development impact fee ordinance is not subject to additional development impact fees.
Section 6-1-1070. (A) If the proposed system improvements include the improvement of public facilities under the jurisdiction of another unit of government including, but not limited to, a special purpose district that does not provide water and wastewater utilities, a school district, and a public service district, an agreement between the governmental entity and other unit of government must specify the reasonable share of funding by each unit. The governmental entity authorized to impose impact fees may not assume more than its reasonable share of funding joint improvements, nor may another unit of government which is not authorized to impose impact fees do so unless the expenditure is pursuant to an agreement under Section 6-1-1050 of this section.
(B) A governmental entity may enter into an agreement with another unit of government including, but not limited to, a special purpose district that does not provide water and wastewater utilities, a school district, and a public service district, that has the responsibility of providing the service for which an impact fee may be imposed. The determination of the amount of the impact fee for the contracting governmental entity must be made in the same manner and is subject to the same procedures and limitations as provided in this article. The agreement must provide for the collection of the impact fee by the governmental entity and for the expenditure of the impact fee by another unit of government including, but not limited to, a special purpose district that does not provide water and wastewater utilities, a school district, and a public services district unless otherwise provided by contract.
Section 6-1-1080. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to a development impact fee for water or wastewater utilities, or both, imposed by a city, county, commissioners of public works, special purpose district, or nonprofit corporation organized pursuant to Chapter 35 or 36 of Title 33, except that in order to impose a development impact fee for water or wastewater utilities, or both, the city, county, commissioners of public works, special purpose district or nonprofit corporation organized pursuant to Chapter 35 or 36 of Title 33 must:
(1) have a capital improvements plan before imposition of the development impact fee; and
(2) prepare a report to be made public before imposition of the development impact fee, which shall include, but not be limited to, an explanation of the basis, use, calculation, and method of collection of the development impact fee; and
(3) enact the fee in accordance with the requirements of Article 3 of this chapter.
Section 6-1-1090. A county development impact fee ordinance imposed in an area which is annexed by a municipality is not affected by this article until the development impact fee terminates, unless the municipality assumes any liability which is to be paid with the impact fee revenue.
Section 6-1-2000. This article shall not create, grant, or confer any new or additional taxing or revenue raising authority to a political subdivision which was not specifically granted to that entity by a previous act of the General Assembly.
Section 6-1-2010. Compliance with any requirement for public notice or public hearing in this article is considered to be in compliance with any other public notice or public hearing requirement otherwise applicable including, but not limited to, the provisions of Chapter 4, Title 30, and Article 3 of this chapter."
Municipal Improvements Act of 1999
SECTION 2. Chapter 37, Title 5 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Section 5-37-10. This chapter may be referred to as the 'Municipal Improvements Act of 1999', and any municipal corporation of this State is hereby authorized to exercise the powers and provisions hereof.
Section 5-37-20. As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) 'Assessment' means a charge against the real property of an owner within an improvement district created pursuant to this chapter which may be based on assessed value, front footage, area, per parcel basis, the value of improvements to be constructed within the district, or any combination of them, as the basis is determined by the governing body of the municipality. In the event the governing body of a municipality determines that another basis for assessment is appropriate or a more equitable allocation of costs among property owners is appropriate, it may substitute such method for any of the foregoing. An assessment imposed upon real property under this chapter remains valid and enforceable in accordance with the provisions of this chapter even if there is a later subdivision and transfer of the property or a part of it. An improvement plan may provide for a change in the basis of assessment upon the subdivision and transfer of real property or upon such other event as the governing body of a municipality considers appropriate.
(2) 'Improvements' include open or covered malls, parkways, parks and playgrounds, recreation facilities, athletic facilities, pedestrian facilities, parking facilities, parking garages, and underground parking facilities, and facade redevelopment, the widening and dredging of existing channels, canals, and waterways used specifically for recreational or other purposes, the relocation, construction, widening, and paving of streets, roads, and bridges, including demolition of them, underground utilities, all activities authorized by Chapter 1 of Title 31 (State Housing Law), any building or other facilities for public use, any public works eligible for financing under the provisions of Section 6-21-50, and all things incidental to the improvements, including planning, engineering, administration, managing, promotion, marketing, and acquisition of necessary easements and land, and may include facilities for lease or use by a private person, firm, or corporation. However, improvements as defined in this chapter must comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing these activities. Any such improvements may be designated by the governing body as public works eligible for revenue bond financing pursuant to Section 6-21-50, and such improvements, taken in the aggregate, may be designated by the governing body as a 'system' of related projects within the meaning of Section 6-21-40. The governing body of a municipality, after due investigation and study, may determine that improvements located outside the boundaries of an improvement district confer a benefit upon property inside an improvement district or are necessary to make improvements within the improvement district effective for the benefit of property inside the improvement district.
(3) 'Improvement district' means any area within the municipality designated by the governing body pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and within which an improvement plan is to be accomplished. No special improvement district may include the grounds of the State House in the City of Columbia.
(4) 'Improvement plan' means an overall plan by which the governing body proposes to effect improvements within an improvement district to preserve property values, prevent deterioration of urban areas, and preserve the tax base of the municipality, and includes an overall plan by which the governing body proposes to effect improvements within an improvement district in order to encourage and promote private or public development within the improvement district.
(5) 'Governing body' means the municipal council or other governing body in which the general governing powers of the municipality are vested.
(6) 'Owner' means any person twenty-one years of age, or older, or the proper legal representative for any person younger than twenty-one years of age, and any firm or corporation, who or which owns legal title to a present possessory interest in real estate equal to a life estate or greater (expressly excluding leaseholds, easements, equitable interests, inchoate rights, dower rights, and future interest) and who owns, at the date of the petition or written consent, at least an undivided one-tenth interest in a single tract and whose name appears on the county tax records as an owner of real estate, and any duly organized group whose total interest is at least equal to a one-tenth interest in a single tract.
It is provided, however, that, if any firm or person has a leasehold interest requiring it or him to pay all municipal taxes, such agreement shall not be applicable to charges of the assessment of the district as only the owner has the right to petition on the assessment charge for the improvement district.
Section 5-37-25. A municipality must obtain the consent of the county governing body and any other municipality where the improvement is located to use revenue collected pursuant to this chapter for improvements located outside the municipal boundaries in which the improvement district is located.
Section 5-37-30. The governing body is authorized to acquire, own, construct, establish, install, enlarge, improve, expand, operate, maintain and repair, and sell, lease, and otherwise dispose of any improvement and to finance such acquisition, construction, establishment, installation, enlargement, improvement, expansion, operation, maintenance, and repair, in whole or in part, by the imposition of assessments in accordance with this chapter, by special district bonds, by general obligation bonds of the municipality, by revenue bonds of the municipality, or from general revenues from any source not restricted from such use by law, or by any combination of such funding sources. In addition to any other authorization provided herein or by other law, the governing body of a municipality may issue its special district bonds or revenue bonds of the municipality under such terms and conditions as the governing body may determine by ordinance subject to the following: such bonds may be sold at public or private sale for such price as is determined by the governing body; such bonds may be secured by a pledge of and be payable from the assessments authorized herein or any other source of funds not constituting a general tax as may be available and authorized by the governing body; such bonds may be issued pursuant to and secured under the terms of a trust agreement or indenture with a corporate trustee and the ordinance authorizing such bonds or trust agreement or indenture pertaining thereto may contain provisions for the establishment of a reserve fund, and such other funds or accounts as are determined by the governing body to be appropriate to be held by the governing body or the trustee. The proceeds of any bonds may be applied to the payment of the costs of any improvements, including expenses associated with the issuance and sale of the bonds and any costs for planning and designing the improvements or planning or arranging for the financing and any engineering, architectural, surveying, testing, or similar costs or expenses necessary or appropriate for the planning, designing, and construction or implementation of any plan in connection with the improvements.
Section 5-37-40. (A) If the governing body finds that:
(1) improvements would be beneficial within a designated improvement district;
(2) the improvements would preserve or increase property values within the district;
(3) in the absence of the improvements, property values within the area would be likely to depreciate, or that the proposed improvements would be likely to encourage development in the improvement district;
(4) the general welfare and tax base of the city would be maintained or likely improved by creation of an improvement district in the city; and
(5) it would be fair and equitable to finance all or part of the cost of the improvements by an assessment upon the real property within the district, the governing body may establish the area as an improvement district and implement and finance, in whole or in part, an improvement plan in the district in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. However, owner-occupied residential property which is taxed under Section 12-43-220(c) must not be included within an improvement district unless the owner gives the governing body written permission to include the property within the improvement district.
(B) If an improvement district is located in a redevelopment project area created under Title 31, Chapter 6, the improvement district being created under the provisions of this chapter must be considered to satisfy items (1) through (5) of subsection (A). The ordinance creating an improvement district may be adopted by a majority of council after a public hearing at which the plan is presented, including the proposed basis and amount of assessment, or upon written petition signed by a majority in number of the owners of real property within the district which is not exempt from ad valorem taxation as provided by law. However, owner-occupied residential property which is taxed under Section 12-43-220(c) must not be included within an improvement district unless the owner gives the governing body written permission to include the property within the improvement district.
Section 5-37-45. The governing body may include within an improvement district an area within the municipality in which the proposed improvements have been constructed or are under construction at the time of the establishment of the improvement district. Before the commencement of the construction of these improvements, a written agreement with the owner of the area to be improved is entered into by the municipality authorizing the construction of the improvements in anticipation of the inclusion of the area which is improved in the improvement district upon such terms and conditions as the governing body agrees, including the reimbursement, as a cost of constructing improvements under this chapter, of any monies expended for the construction before and subsequent to the establishment of the improvement district. Any agreement providing for the construction of the improvements before the establishment of the improvement district must be authorized by an ordinance of the governing body, notice of which must be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality, appearing at least seven days before the final adoption of the ordinance. Any agreements entered into in accordance with the foregoing conditions before the effective date of this section are ratified and confirmed and the area improved declared eligible for inclusion in the improvement district as proposed in the agreement.
Section 5-37-50. The governing body shall, by resolution duly adopted, describe the improvement district and the improvement plan to be effected therein, including any property within the improvement district to be acquired and improved, the projected time schedule for the accomplishment of the improvement plan, the estimated cost thereof and the amount of such cost to be derived from assessments, bonds, or other general funds, together with the proposed basis and rates of any assessments to be imposed within the improvement district. However, owner-occupied residential property which is taxed under Section 12-43-220(c) must not be included within an improvement district unless the owner gives the governing body written permission to include the property within the improvement district. Such resolution shall also establish the time and place of a public hearing to be held within the municipality not sooner than twenty days nor more than forty days following the adoption of such resolution at which any interested person may attend and be heard either in person or by attorney on any matter in connection therewith.
Section 5-37-60. A resolution providing for an improvement district, when adopted, shall be published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the incorporated municipality and the final publication shall be at least ten days prior to the date of the scheduled public hearing. At the public hearing and at any adjournment thereof, all interested persons may be heard either in person or by attorney.
Section 5-37-70. The governing body may provide by the resolution for the payment of the cost of the improvements and facilities to be constructed within the improvement district by assessments on the property therein as defined in Section 5-37-20, or by the issuance of special district bonds, or by general obligation bonds of the municipality, or from general municipal revenues from any source not restricted from such use by law, or from any combination of such financing sources as may be provided in the improvement plan.
Section 5-37-80. The financing of improvements by assessments, bonds, or other revenues, and the proportions thereof, shall be in the discretion of the governing body; and the rates of assessments upon property owners within the improvement district need not be uniform but may vary in proportion to improvements made immediately adjacent to or abutting upon the property of each owner therein, as well as other bases as provided in Section 5-37-20.
Section 5-37-90. The improvements as defined in Section 5-37-20 are to be or become the property of the municipality, State, or other public entity and may at any time be removed, altered, changed, or added to, as the governing body may in its discretion determine; provided, that during the continuance or maintenance of the improvements, the special assessments on property therein may be utilized for the preservation, operation, and maintenance of the improvements and facilities provided in the improvement plan, and for the management and operation of the improvement district as provided in the improvement plan, and for payment of indebtedness incurred therefor.
Section 5-37-100. Not sooner than ten days nor more than one hundred twenty days following the conclusion of the public hearing provided in Section 5-37-50, the governing body may, by ordinance, provide for the creation of the improvement district as originally proposed or with such changes and modifications therein as the governing body may determine, and provide for the financing thereof by assessment, bonds, or other revenues as herein provided. However, owner-occupied residential property which is taxed under Section 12-43-220(c) must not be included within an improvement district unless the owner gives the governing body written permission to include the property within the improvement district. Such ordinance shall not become effective until at least seven days after it has been published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality. Such ordinance may incorporate by reference plats and engineering reports and other data on file in the offices of the municipality; provided, that the place of filing and reasonable hours for inspection are made available to all interested persons.
Section 5-37-110. In the event all or any part of improvements and facilities within the district are to be financed by assessments on property therein, the governing body shall prepare an assessment roll in which there shall be entered the names of the persons whose properties are to be assessed and the amount assessed against their respective properties with a brief description of the lots or parcels of land assessed. Immediately after such assessment roll has been completed the governing body shall cause one copy thereof to be deposited in the offices of the municipality for inspection by interested parties, and shall cause to be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipality a notice of completion of the assessment roll setting forth a description in general terms of the improvements and providing at least ten days' notice of the time fixed for hearing of objections in respect to such assessments. The time for hearing such objections shall be at least thirty days, and hearings may be conducted by one or more members of the governing body of the municipality, but the final decision on each such objection shall be made by vote of the whole governing body at a public session thereof.
Section 5-37-120. As soon as practicable after the completion of the assessment roll and prior to the publication of the notice provided in Section 5-37-110, the governing body shall mail by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner or owners of each lot or parcel of land against which an assessment is to be levied, at the address appearing on the records of the city or county treasurer, a notice stating the nature of the improvement, the total proposed cost thereof, the amount to be assessed against the particular property and the basis upon which the assessment is made, together with the terms and conditions upon which the assessment may be paid. The notice shall contain a brief description of the particular property involved, together with a statement that the amount assessed shall constitute a lien against the property superior to all other liens except property taxes. The notice shall also state the time and place fixed for the hearing of objections in respect to the assessment. Any property owner who fails to file with the municipal council a written objection to the assessment against his property within the time provided for hearing such objections shall be deemed to have consented to such assessment, and the published and written notices prescribed in this chapter shall so state. If all of the owners of property upon which an assessment is to be levied consent in writing to the imposition of such assessment, the provisions of this section shall be deemed satisfied.
Section 5-37-130. The governing body shall hear the objections as provided herein of all persons who have filed written notice of objection within the time prescribed and who may appear and make proof in relation thereto either in person or by their attorney. The governing body, at the sessions held to make final decisions on objections, may thereupon make such corrections in the assessment roll as it may deem proper and confirm the same or set it aside and provide for a new assessment. Whenever the governing body shall confirm an assessment, either as originally prepared or as thereafter corrected, a copy thereof certified by the clerk of the municipality shall be filed in the office of the clerk of court of the county in which the municipality is situate, and from the time of such filing the assessment impressed in the assessment roll shall constitute and be a lien on the real property against which it is assessed superior to all other liens and encumbrances, except the lien for property taxes, and shall be annually assessed and collected with the property taxes thereon.
Section 5-37-140. Upon the confirmation of an assessment, if any, the governing body shall mail a written notice to all persons who have filed written objections as hereinabove provided of the amount of the assessment finally confirmed. Such property owner may appeal such assessment only if he shall, within twenty days after the mailing of the notice to him confirming the assessment, give written notice to the governing body of his intent to appeal his assessment to the court of common pleas of the county in which the property is situate; but no such appeal shall delay or stay the construction of improvements or affect the validity of the assessments confirmed and not appealed. Appeals shall be heard and determined on the record in the manner of appeals from administrative bodies in this State.
Section 5-37-150. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit or restrict the powers of any incorporated municipality, but the authorizations herein contained shall be in addition to any such powers.
Section 5-37-160. Any written petition or consent signed by a property owner prior to July 18, 1974, requesting or consenting to an assessment in an improvement district shall be effective and binding upon said property and property owner and all acts of any municipality taken under any other law shall be effective and binding upon all property owners in an improvement district.
Section 5-37-170. No street in the state highway system shall be included in a mall development without prior written approval of the Department of Transportation.
Section 5-37-180. No street which is located in front of the county courthouse and adjacent thereto shall be included in the mall development without prior written approval of the governing body having jurisdiction over such public property. Likewise, no street which shall in effect block the entrance to the courthouse square shall be included in the mall complex without prior written approval of same governing body."
Cooperative associations authorized
SECTION 3. Section 33-45-30 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 33-45-30. The members of a limited liability company organized pursuant to Chapter 43 or Chapter 44 of this title or five or more persons, residents of this State, may associate themselves as a cooperative association, society, company, union, or exchange for the purpose of conducting within this State any agricultural, dairy, mercantile, mining, mechanical, or manufacturing business on the cooperative plan."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor, except that the provisions contained in Section 2, which provide that owner-occupied residential property which is taxed under Section 12-43-220(c) must not be included within an improvement district unless the owner gives the governing body written permission to include the property within the improvement district, apply only to improvement districts created after the effective date of this act.
Ratified the 24th day of June, 1999.
Approved the 30th day of June, 1999.
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