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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
May 15, 2002
S. Printed 5/15/02--S.
Read the first time May 2, 2002.
To whom was referred a Bill (H. 3640) to amend Section 12-28-2740, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to the distribution of "C" fund gasoline tax revenues to counties, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass:
GREG RYBERG for Committee.
TO AMEND SECTION 12-28-2740, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF "C" FUND GASOLINE TAX REVENUES TO COUNTIES, SO AS TO DELETE OBSOLETE PROVISIONS, PROVIDE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF EARNINGS ON THE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION FUND, RAISE FROM ONE TO TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS THE AMOUNT WHICH MAY BE USED FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE, CLARIFY THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTERS ALL FUNDS EXPENDED ON THE STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM, CLARIFY THE USE OF "C" FUND REVENUES, ELIMINATE BID PREFERENCES FOR COUNTIES ADMINISTERING THEIR OWN "C" FUNDS, AND GIVE THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE "C" FUND PROVISIONS BY WITHHOLDING OF "C" FUND ALLOCATIONS AND FORFEITURE OF ALLOCATIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 12-28-2740 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 12-28-2740. (A) The proceeds from two and sixty-six one-hundredths cents a gallon of the tax on gasoline only as levied and provided for in this chapter must be deposited with the State Treasurer and expended for purposes set forth in this section. The monies must be apportioned among the counties of the State in the following manner:
(1) one-third distributed in the ratio which the land area of the county bears to the total land area of the State;
(2) one-third distributed in the ratio which the population of the county bears to the total population of the State as shown by the latest official decennial census;
(3) one-third distributed in the ratio which the mileage of all rural roads in the county bears to the total rural road mileage in the State as shown by the latest official records of the Department of Transportation
;. The Department of Revenue shall collect the information required pursuant to Section 12-28-1390 regarding the number of gallons sold in each county for use in making allocations of donor funds as provided in subsection (H). The Department of Revenue shall submit the percentage of the total represented by each county to the Department of Transportation and to each county transportation committee annually by May first of the following calendar year. Upon request of a county transportation committee, the Department of Transportation shall continue to administer the funds allocated to the county;
(4) for distribution in 1997, a transitional year as the result of the change of date for reporting the percentages referenced in item (3) to May first, the Department of Transportation shall use the latest data available from the Department of Revenue, which was derived from sales data for the 1995 calendar year.
All interest earnings on the County Transportation Fund in the State Treasury must be
credited to the State Highway Fund.
All earnings on the County Transportation Fund in the State Treasury must be added to the distribution to counties under this section in the ratio that the proportion to each county's portion of the entire County Transportation Fund annual distribution is of the total of these distributions statewide. Except for those funds being used in connection with highway projects administered by the Department of Transportation on behalf of counties administering their own 'C' funds, these distributions of earnings and the calculation required to determine the appropriate amount shall not include those counties administering their own 'C' funds.
(B) The funds expended must be approved by and used in furtherance of a countywide transportation plan adopted by a county transportation committee. The county transportation committee must be appointed by the county legislative delegation and must be made up of fair representation from municipalities and unincorporated areas of the county. County transportation committees may join in approving a regional transportation plan, and the funds must be used in furtherance of the regional transportation plan. This subsection does not prohibit the county legislative delegation from making project recommendations to the county transportation committee. A county transportation committee may expend from the funds allocated under this section an amount not to exceed
one two thousand dollars for reasonable administrative expenses directly related to the activities of the committee. Administrative expenses may include costs associated with copying, mailings, public notices, correspondence, and recordkeeping but do not include the payment of per diem or salaries for members of the committee.
(C) At least twenty-five percent of a county's apportionment of 'C' funds, based on a biennial averaging of expenditures, must be expended on the state highway system for construction, improvements, and maintenance. The Department of Transportation shall administer all funds expended on the state highway system unless the department has given explicit authority to a county or municipal government or other agent acting on behalf of the county transportation committee to design, engineer, construct, and inspect projects using their own personnel. The county transportation committee, at its discretion, may expend up to seventy-five percent of 'C' construction funds for activities including
, but not limited to, other local paving or improving county roads, for street and traffic signs, and for other paving road and bridge projects. Roads constructed of rock must consist of not less than one inch nor more than two and one-half inches of rock or its equivalent.
(D) The funds allocated to the county also may be used to issue county bonds or state highway bonds as provided in subsection (J), pay directly for appropriate highway projects, including engineering, contracting, and project supervision, and match federal funds available for appropriate projects. Beginning July 1, 2002, for any new 'C' fund allocations received on or after this date, the balance of uncommitted funds carried forward from one year into the next may not exceed three hundred percent of the county's total apportionment for the most recent year. Expenditures must be documented on a per-project basis upon the completion of each project in reports to the respective county transportation committees. This documentation must be provided by the agency or local government actually expending the funds and it shall include a description of the completed project and a general accounting of all expenditures made in connection with the project
. These summaries of these reports then must be forwarded by each county transportation committee to the department using guidelines established by the department and the department shall compile these reports into an annual statewide report to be submitted to the General Assembly by the second Tuesday of January of each year. The documentation and reporting requirements of this subsection apply only to counties which withdraw administering their own 'C' funds from the State Treasurer's Office. For purposes of this section, 'uncommitted funds' means funds held in the county's 'C' fund account that have not been designated for specific projects.
(E) All unexpended 'C' funds allocated to a county remain in the account allocated to the county for the succeeding fiscal year and must be expended as provided in this section.
(F) The countywide and regional transportation plans provided for in this section must be reviewed and approved by the Department of Transportation. Before the expenditure of funds by a county transportation committee, the committee shall adopt specifications for local road projects. In counties electing to expend their allocation directly pursuant to subsection (A), specifications of roads built with 'C' funds are to be established by the countywide or regional transportation committee. In counties in which the county transportation committee elects to have 'C' funds administered by the Department of Transportation, primary and secondary roads built using 'C' funds must meet Department of Transportation specifications.
(G) This section must not be construed as affecting the plans and implementation of plans for a Statewide Surface Transportation System as developed by the Department of Transportation.
(H) For purposes of this subsection, 'donor county' means a county that contributes to the 'C' fund an amount in excess of what it receives under the allocation formula as stated in subsection (A). In addition to the allocation to the counties pursuant to subsection (A), the Department of Transportation annually shall transfer from the state highway fund to the donor counties an amount equal to nine and one-half million dollars in the ratio of the individual donor county's contribution in excess of 'C' fund revenue allocated to the county under subsection (A) to the total excess contributions of all donor counties.
(I) In expending funds under this section, counties that
provide for engineering, contracting, and project supervision administer their own 'C' funds shall use a procurement system which requires competitive sealed bids, no bid preferences not required by state or federal law, and public advertisement of all projects. All bids for contracts in excess of one hundred thousand dollars must be accompanied by certified bid bonds, and all work awarded under the contracts must be covered by performance and payment bonds for one hundred percent of the contract value. Bid summaries must be published in a newspaper of general distribution following each award.
(J) State highway bonds may be issued for the completion of projects for which 'C' funds may be expended for projects as determined by the county transportation committee. The applicable source for payment of principal and interest on the bonds is the share of 'C' fund revenues available for use by the county transportation committee. The application for the bonds must be filed by the county transportation committee with the Commission of the Department of Transportation and the State Treasurer, which shall forward the application to the State Budget and Control Board. The Budget and Control Board shall consider the application in the same manner that it considers state highway bonds, mutatis mutandis.
(K) Members of the committee are insulated from all personal liability arising out of matters related directly to and within the scope of the performance of official duties and functions conferred upon the committee pursuant to this section.
(L) In Berkeley County, appointments made pursuant to this section are governed by the provisions of Act 159 of 1995.
(M) In Dorchester County, appointments made pursuant to this section are governed by the provisions of Act 512 of 1996.
(N) In Georgetown County, appointments made pursuant to this section are governed by the provisions of Act 515 of 1996.
(O) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the legislative delegation of a county may by delegation resolution abolish the county transportation committee and devolve its powers and duties on the governing body of the county. This devolution may be reversed and the county transportation committee reestablished by a subsequent delegation resolution. The exercise of county transportation committee powers and duties by a county governing body is not deemed to constitute dual office holding.
(P) The Department of Transportation shall perform reviews to ensure compliance with subsections (C), (D), (F), and (I). A county failing to comply with these subsections must have all subsequent 'C' fund allocations withheld until the requirements of those subsections are met. If a county fails to comply with those subsections within twenty-four months, the county forfeits fifty percent of its allocations for the following year and the forfeited amount must be divided among the other counties as provided in subsection (A).
(Q) A county subject to a proposed withholding or forfeiture of 'C' fund allocations pursuant to this section must be notified in writing of the department's decision. The county, within sixty days of receipt of notice of the decision, may request a review of the decision by a panel consisting of the state highway engineer or his designee, the chairman of the affected county's transportation committee or his designee, and a third person named by mutual agreement between the state highway engineer and the county transportation committee chairman. The panel shall meet and render a decision within ninety days of the request by the county transportation committee. The decision of the panel may be appealed by requesting a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Judge Division pursuant to Section 1-23-600 and the rules of procedure for the Administrative Law Judge Division. The request for a hearing must be made within thirty days of receipt of the panel's decision."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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