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June 6, 2001
L. Printed 6/6/01--H.
Read the first time April 3, 2001.
TO ENACT THE JASPER COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOND-PROPERTY TAX RELIEF ACT SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE IMPLEMENTATION FOLLOWING REFERENDUM APPROVAL OF A SALES AND USE TAX IN JASPER COUNTY NOT TO EXCEED ONE PERCENT FOR DEBT SERVICE ON GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS ISSUED FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION OR FOR DIRECT PAYMENTS FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (A) This act may be cited as the Jasper County School District School Bond-Property Tax Relief Act.
(B) As used in this section:
(1) "Board" means the Jasper County District Board of Education, the governing body of the district.
(2) "County auditor" means the Jasper County Auditor.
(3) "County treasurer" means the Jasper County Treasurer.
(4) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
(5) "District" means the Jasper County School District.
(C) Subject to the requirements of this section and notwithstanding the limitations provided in Section 4-10-310 of the 1976 Code, the board by resolution may impose a sales and use tax not exceeding one percent, the amount to be determined by the board, within Jasper County for a specific purpose and for a specified period of time to collect revenues to be used to pay debt service on general obligation bonds issued pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 71, Title 59 of the 1976 Code, the School Bond Act, or to pay directly costs of acquisition or construction of any of the improvements identified in the resolution providing for the imposition of the tax.
(D)(1)(a) The board, by resolution, may vote to impose the tax authorized by this section but in no event may the tax be levied unless the voters approve the question presented in the referendum. The resolution must specify:
(i) the improvements to be financed through the issuance of general obligation bonds of the school district together with the imposition of the tax;
(ii) 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
(iii) the maximum principal amount of general obligation bonds to be issued and repaid with proceeds of the tax.
(b) The findings provided in item (i) may be incorporated within a resolution of the board calling for a referendum upon the question of the issuance of general obligation bonds pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 71, Title 59 of the 1976 Code, if the proposed tax is to be applied to payment of debt service upon the bonds.
(2) Upon receipt of the resolution, the Jasper County Election Commission shall conduct a referendum on the question of imposing the optional special sales and use tax in the county. Notice of the election must be provided in the manner provided by the general election law except that the first such notice may be not later than thirty-five days prior to the election and the second notice must be not later than two weeks after the first notice. The notice must include the question to be voted upon or such question shall be set forth in a notice of referendum under the School Bond Act. In addition, if the question of the issuance of general obligation bonds also is to be voted upon in the referendum, publication of notice of the referendum must also be given in compliance with Article 1 of Chapter 71, Title 59 of the 1976 Code. Expenses of the referendum must be paid by the school district.
(3) The question to be voted upon in the referendum must read substantially as follows:
"Shall a special sales and use tax not exceeding one percent be imposed in Jasper County for not more than twenty-five years in order to raise revenues which will be applied to pay directly the cost of or to pay debt service on general obligation bonds issued to defray the cost of (identify improvements) for the Jasper County School District?
The ballot may, in the discretion of the board, contain a short explanation of the question to be voted upon in this referendum.
(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 the particular purpose shall vote "no". Upon receipt of the returns of the referendum, the election commission shall certify the result and file the certification with the Jasper County Clerk of Court. The certification also must be filed with the department. The certified results of the referendum are not open to question except by a civil action instituted within twenty days of the filing of the certificate with the clerk of court. If a majority of the votes cast are in favor of imposing the tax, then the tax is imposed as provided in this act; otherwise, the tax is not imposed. A referendum on imposition of the tax authorized in this section may not be held more than once in a period of twelve consecutive months.
(E)(1) If the tax is approved in the referendum, the tax must be imposed beginning upon the first day of the third full month following the filing of the declaration of results of the referendum with the department.
(2) The tax terminates:
(a) on the final day of the maximum time specified for the imposition; or
(b) earlier, but not if later, upon payment of the final maturing installments of principal of the general obligation bonds to which application of the tax is authorized, or upon payment of the final maturing installments of principal of general obligation bonds issued to refund the bonds.
(3) When the optional sales and use tax is imposed for more than one purpose, the board of the school district shall determine the priority for the expenditure of the net proceeds of the tax for the purposes stated in the referendum.
(F)(1) The tax levied pursuant to this section must be administered and collected by the department 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.
(2) The tax authorized by this section is in addition to all other local sales and use taxes and applies to the gross proceeds of the sales in Jasper County which are subject to the tax imposed by Chapter 36, Title 12 of the 1976 Code and the enforcement provisions of Chapter 54, Title 12 of the 1976 Code. The gross proceeds of the sale of items subject to a maximum tax in Chapter 36 of Title 12 of the 1976 Code are exempt from the tax imposed by this section. The gross proceeds of the sale of food which may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons are exempt from the tax imposed by this act. 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 of the 1976 Code.
(3) Taxpayers required to remit taxes under Article 13, Chapter 36, Title 12 of the 1976 Code shall identify the county in which the tangible personal property purchased at retail is stored, used, or consumed in this State.
(4) Utilities are required to report sales in the county in which consumption of the tangible personal property occurs.
(5) A taxpayer subject to the tax imposed by Section 12-36-920 of the 1976 Code, 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.
(6) The gross proceeds of sales of tangible personal property delivered after the imposition date of the tax levied under this section in Jasper 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 within six months after the imposition of the special local sales and use tax.
(7) 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.
(G)(1) The revenues of the tax collected in the 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 administering the tax, not to exceed one percent of the revenues, the State Treasurer shall distribute the revenues quarterly to the county treasurer who shall hold the debt service funds for payment of principal and interest on the bonds to which the tax is applicable. 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.
(2) The county treasurer shall certify to the auditor of the county on July fifteenth of each calendar year as to the amount of tax revenues of the tax authorized by this section held by him as of June thirtieth of the calendar year. The county auditor shall reduce the next levy of ad valorem property taxes required to pay debt service on bonds to which the tax is applicable by the amount of tax revenues certified as collected as of June thirtieth by the county treasurer. Tax revenues collected as of June thirtieth of a calendar year in excess of the amounts required to pay debt service due in the eighteen months following June thirtieth on bonds to which the tax is applicable may be applied either to the payment or reimbursement to the district for the payment of costs of the improvements described in the referendum or, if such improvements have been completed, these tax revenues must be applied to the redemption of the bonds authorized by the referendum on the next practicable redemption date.
(3) If the district presents the county treasurer with a surety bond or letter of credit from a financial institution which is rated in one of the two highest rating categories by two national ratings agencies, the county treasurer may treat the amount available under the surety as if it were tax revenues held by the county treasurer and shall provide the certificate called for in item (2) to the auditor by including the amount available under the surety or letter of credit if the amount is not in excess of ninety percent of the actual taxes collected during the prior year. The county auditor shall reduce the next levy of ad valorum property taxes required to pay debt service on bonds to which the tax is applicable by the amount so certified by the county treasurer. If the taxes collected are less than the amount required, the county treasurer shall draw upon the surety to provide for timely payment of debt service on the bonds. The costs of this surety may be paid from amounts available in the fund created in accordance with item (1) of this subsection and any reimbursement to the surety may be paid from the fund from taxes collected in the year after any draw.
(4) Before the issuance of any general obligation bonds payable from tax authorized by this section, any revenues may be applied directly to the costs of the improvements approved in the referendum provided for in subsection (C) of this section.
(H) The department shall furnish data to the State Treasurer and to the district for the purpose of calculating distributions and estimating revenues. The information which must be supplied to the district 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 of the 1976 Code. A person violating this section is subject to the penalties provided in Section 12-54-240 of the 1976 Code.
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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