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March 6, 2002
S. Printed 3/6/02--H.
Read the first time June 5, 2001.
To whom was referred a Bill (H. 4244) to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 41-27-235 so as to allow Native American tribes the option of election as a reimbursable employer, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass:
HARRY F. CATO for Committee.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 41-27-235 SO AS TO ALLOW NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES THE OPTION OF ELECTION AS A REIMBURSABLE EMPLOYER FOR PURPOSES OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY LAW; TO AMEND SECTION 41-27-210, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF "EMPLOYER", SO AS TO EXTEND THE DEFINITION TO ANY NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBE AND ANY EMPLOYING UNIT REQUIRED TO PAY THE FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT TAX; TO AMEND SECTION 41-27-260, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF "EMPLOYMENT", SO AS TO EXTEND THE DEFINITION TO AN APPOINTED SUCCESSOR TO AN ELECTED OFFICIAL AND ADD AN EXEMPTION DEFINITION PERTAINING TO NATIVE AMERICANS; TO AMEND SECTION 41-31-40, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO AN EMPLOYER'S BASE RATE COMPUTATION PERIOD, SO AS TO EXPERIENCE RATE NEW EMPLOYERS AFTER TWELVE MONTHS AT THE NEXT ANNUAL RATING FOLLOWING THE YEAR IN WHICH THEY REACH THEIR TWELVE MONTH EXPERIENCE STATUS; TO AMEND SECTION 41-31-60, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE EMPLOYER DELINQUENT REPORT PENALTY, SO AS TO REDUCE THIS PENALTY; TO AMEND SECTION 41-31-110, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE SUCCESSOR RATING PERIOD, SO AS TO REDUCE THE RATING PERIOD TO ONCE A YEAR; TO AMEND SECTION 41-31-160, RELATING TO CONTRIBUTION REPORTS, SO AS TO REQUIRE ELECTRONIC CONTRIBUTION AND WAGE REPORTS FOR EMPLOYERS REPORTING TWO HUNDRED FIFTY OR MORE EMPLOYEES IN 2003 AND EMPLOYERS REPORTING ONE HUNDRED OR MORE EMPLOYEES IN 2005; AND TO AMEND SECTION 41-33-80, RELATING TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT TRUST FUND, SO AS TO CORRECT A REFERENCE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 3, Chapter 27, Title 41 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 41-27-235. (A) The term 'employment' means service performed in the employ of a Native American tribe, as defined in Section 3306(u) of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), if the service is excluded from 'employment' as defined in FUTA solely by reason of Section 3306(C)(7), FUTA, and is not otherwise excluded from 'employment' under this title.
(B) Benefits based on service in employment defined in this section are payable in the same amount, on the same terms, and subject to the same conditions as benefits payable on the basis of other service subject under this title.
(C)(1) Native American tribes or tribal units including subdivisions, subsidiaries, or business enterprises wholly owned by such tribes subject to this title shall pay contributions under the same terms and conditions as all other subject employers, unless they elect to pay into the state unemployment trust fund amounts equal to the amount of benefits attributable to service in the employ of the Native American tribe or tribal unit including all extended benefits paid for any reason.
(2) Native American tribes or tribal units that elect to pay benefits attributable to service in their employ but fail to reimburse the required payments, including interest and penalty assessments, within ninety days of the receipt of a bill, cause the Native American tribe or tribal unit to lose the option to make payments in lieu of contributions for the following tax year unless payment in full is received before the contribution rates for the next year are computed. The commission shall notify the United States Internal Revenue Service and the United States Department of Labor of a tribe or tribal unit's failure to make required payments within ninety days of a final notice of delinquency.
(3) A Native American tribe or tribal unit that loses the option to make payments in lieu of contributions shall have that option reinstated if, after a period of one year, all contributions have been paid on a timely basis and no contributions, payments in lieu of contributions, penalties, or interest remain outstanding."
SECTION 2. Section 41-27-210 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding at the end:
"(13) Any Native American tribe or tribal unit for which service in employment as defined in Chapters 27 through 41 of this title is performed.
(14) Any employing unit which is liable under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, Section 3301 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, is a covered employer immediately upon having its first South Carolina employment, regardless of the number of employees working in South Carolina or the period for which they are employed."
SECTION 3. A. Section 41-27-260(5)(a) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(a) As an elected official or as the appointed successor of an elected official;"
B. Section 41-27-160 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 7 of 1995, is further amended by adding at the end:
"(17) Services performed as a member of a Native American tribal council or services in a fishing rights related activity of a Native American tribe by a member of such tribe for another member of such tribe or by a qualified Native American entity."
SECTION 4. Section 41-31-40 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 37 of 1999, is further amended to read:
"Section 41-31-40. Each employer's base rate for the twelve months commencing January first of any calendar year is determined in accordance with Section 41-31-50 on the basis of his record up to July first of the preceding calendar year, but no employer's base rate is less than two and sixty-four hundredths percent until there have been
twenty-four twelve consecutive months of coverage after first becoming liable for contributions under Chapters 27 through 41 of this title. Each employer who completes twenty-four twelve consecutive calendar months of coverage after first becoming liable for contributions under the chapters during the current calendar year shall have a base rate computed on the basis of his record up through the next occurring June thirtieth, with that base rate being effective for the next calendar year beginning in January at the beginning of the calendar quarter following the calendar quarter during which twenty-four consecutive months of coverage are completed based on the employer's experience through the preceding quarter. The base rate computed in accordance with Section 41-31-50 is applicable for the remainder of the current calendar year. For those employers completing the twenty-four months of coverage during the current calendar year, a new base rate for the succeeding calendar year is determined on the basis of their records through December thirty-first of the current year."
SECTION 5. Section 41-31-60(1) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 37 of 1999, is further amended to read:
"(1) If on the computation date upon which an employer's base rate is to be computed as provided in Section 41-31-40 there is a delinquent report, a base rate of
five and four-tenths two and sixty-four hundredths percent must be assigned until the next computation date for the period to which the computation applies. The assigned base rate is applicable for the entire period for which the computation is made even though the delinquent report is subsequently received. If the base rate for the prior year or the computed base rate for the computation period is greater than two and sixty-four hundredths percent, the higher rate must be assigned until the next computation date."
SECTION 6. Section 41-31-110 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 37 of 1999, is further amended to read:
"Section 41-31-110. Whenever any person or other legal entity has in any manner succeeded to or has acquired substantially all or a distinct and severable portion of the business of another, as provided in Sections 41-31-100 and 41-31-120, the base rates of contributions are computed as follows:
(a) If the successor is not already an employer at the time of the acquisition, the base rate of contributions applicable to the predecessor employer with respect to the period immediately preceding the date of acquisition, if there is only one predecessor employer, shall apply to the successor employer for the remainder of the calendar year.
The base rate for the subsequent calendar year is computed based upon the employment benefit experience record of the predecessor or upon the combined employment benefit experience record of the predecessor and the successor, if applicable, as of June thirtieth of the year in which the acquisition occurred.
(b) If the successor is not already an employer at the time of the acquisition and there is more than one transferring employer with a different base rate, the successor employer is assigned the base rate of that transferring employer who has the highest base rate with the base rate being applicable
until the end of the quarter in which the succession occurs for the remainder of the year.
(c) If the successor is already an employer at the time of the acquisition, the base rate of contributions applicable at the time of the acquisition to the successor employer shall continue to be applicable
until the end of the quarter in which succession occurs for the remainder of the year.
For the purposes of items (a), (b), and (c), the base rate as assigned continues in effect
until the first day of the next calendar quarter immediately following the acquisition, at which time the commission shall compute a base rate based upon the combination of that portion of the employment benefit experience record acquired from the predecessor with the employment benefit experience record of the successor, subject to the provisions of this article, which base rate is applicable to the successor from the first day of the quarter for the remainder of the calendar year and until the time . If the acquisition occurred prior to July first, the base rate for the subsequent calendar year is computed based upon the combined employment benefit experience record as of June thirtieth of the year in which the acquisition occurred; if the acquisition occurred subsequent to June thirtieth, the base rate for the subsequent calendar year is computed based upon the combined employment benefit experience record as of December thirty-first. All base rates thereafter are computed upon the basis of the combined employment benefit experience record meets the requirements and at such time as provided in Section 41-31-40."
SECTION 7. Section 41-31-160 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 41-31-160. The commission shall not require contribution and wage reports more frequently than quarterly. Effective with the quarter ending March 31, 2003, every employer with two hundred fifty or more employees and every individual or organization that, as an agent, reports wages on a total of two hundred fifty or more employees on behalf of one or more subject employers, and effective with the quarter ending March 31, 2005, every employer with one hundred or more employees and every individual or organization that, as an agent, reports wages on a total of one hundred or more employees on behalf of one or more subject employers, shall file that portion of the 'Employer Quarterly Contribution and Wage Reports' containing the employee's social security number, name, and total wages on magnetic tapes, diskettes, or electronically, in a format approved by the commission. The commission may waive the requirement to file using magnetic media if hardship is shown. In determining whether a hardship has been shown, the commission shall take into account, among other relevant factors, the ability of the taxpayer to comply with the filing requirement at a reasonable cost."
SECTION 8. The first paragraph of Section 41-33-80 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Except as provided in Section 41-33-180, monies
shall must be requisitioned from this state's account in the unemployment trust fund solely for the payment of benefits or refunds pursuant to Section 41-33-360 41-31-360 or item (6) of Section 41-27-260 and in accordance with regulations prescribed by the commission, except that money credited to this account pursuant to Section 903 of the Social Security Act, as amended, shall must be used exclusively as provided in Sections 41-33-130 to 41-33-160."
SECTION 9. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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