Download This Version in Microsoft Word format
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 53 TO TITLE 46 BY ENACTING THE "SOUTH CAROLINA EQUINE INDUSTRY PROMOTION ACT" INCLUDING PROVISIONS TO PROVIDE FOR THE SUPPORT OF THIS PROGRAM BY MEANS OF AN ASSESSMENT ON THE SALE OF COMMERCIAL HORSE FEED, TO PROVIDE FOR THE RATE AND METHOD OF COLLECTION OF THE ASSESSMENT, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH THE REVENUE DERIVED FROM THESE ASSESSMENTS MUST BE USED.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds that the horse industry in this State contributes significantly to the economic development of this State, particularly its rural economy, and that the promotion and improvement of this industry by means of a program conducted by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and funded by an assessment on the sale of commercial horse feed is a public purpose.
SECTION 2. Title 46 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 46-53-10. This chapter may be cited as the 'South Carolina Equine Industry Promotion Act'.
Section 46-53-20. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Board' means the Equine Industry Promotion Board established pursuant to Section 46-53-30.
(2) 'Commercial horse feed' means a commercial feed, as defined in Section 46-27-20 and labeled for equine purposes.
(3) 'Commissioner' means the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture.
(4) 'Department' means the South Carolina Department of Agriculture established pursuant to Chapter 3.
(5) 'Equine' means a horse, pony, mule, donkey, or hinny.
Section 46-53-30. (A) There is established under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture the Equine Industry Promotion Board to be composed of eleven members. Nine members shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, five of whom must be appointed from nominations submitted by the South Carolina Horsemen's Council, one of whom must be a representative of the department, one of whom must be the President of the South Carolina Horsemen's Council, one of whom must be a representative of the Equine Committee of the South Carolina Farm Bureau, and one of whom must be a representative of Clemson's 4-H Youth Program. The chairmen of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee shall each appoint one member of the board to serve for terms coterminous with their terms of office. The Equine Marketing Specialist within the department shall serve as an advisory member. In making these appointments, race, gender, and other demographic factors should be considered to ensure nondiscrimination and to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, inclusion and representation of all segments of the population of the State; however, consideration of these factors in making an appointment in no way creates a cause of action or the basis for a grievance by a person appointed or by a person who fails to be appointed. Members appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture shall serve terms of four years and until their successors are appointed. Vacancies must be filled in the manner of the original appointment. The board shall elect a chairman from among its members. The board shall meet at least quarterly or upon the call of the chair. Members of the board are not entitled to compensation but shall receive mileage, per diem, and subsistence as provided by law for members of state boards, committees, and commissions from funds in the Equine Industry Promotion Fund, as established in Section 46-53-50.
Section 46-53-40. There is imposed an assessment equal to two dollars a ton on all commercial feed labeled for equine use sold in this State. The fee must be paid by those required to register a commercial feed pursuant to Section 46-27-210, and those individuals and entities must be issued a manufacturer's receipt for payment of the fee before supplying the feed to retailers. However, any person paying these assessments during a particular year who desires a refund thereof may file a written request for a refund with the board within thirty days after the close of the calendar year in which the assessments were paid together with a copy of the receipts for payment, and upon receipt of these materials, the board shall issue a refund of the assessments paid to that person. The assessment is due and payable to the Equine Industry Promotion Board in quarterly installments due and payable on the fifteenth day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter, for the preceding quarter. The board shall prescribe the forms necessary for reporting and paying this assessment. For purposes of collection and enforcement, the provisions of Chapter 54 of Title 12 apply to this assessment.
Section 46-53-50. (A) The revenues of the assessment imposed pursuant to this chapter must be credited to a fund in the State Treasury separate and distinct from the general fund and all other funds, entitled the 'Equine Industry Promotion Fund' which must be used by the board, with the approval of the commissioner, for the sole purpose of promoting the equine industry in this State, including administrative expenses associated with this purpose. The Department of Agriculture on an annual basis is authorized to be reimbursed from the fund for its administrative costs associated with its duties under this chapter not to exceed ten percent of the total net assessments collected for that year.
(B) Promotion of the equine industry in this State includes, but is not limited to:
(1) development and production of an equine census essential to the promotion and marketing of the South Carolina equine industry;
(2) the production of marketing, informational, and educational materials and programs;
(3) encouraging development and growth of the equine industry through attraction of new owners, relocation of out-of-state equine operations, and expansion of new and existing equine-related agribusiness;
(4) encouraging research that would help the development of the equine industry;
(5) improving interaction with state and local governmental agencies and any national agencies considered necessary for the improvement of the South Carolina equine industry; and
(6) enhancing the general public's image and knowledge of the South Carolina equine industry.
Section 43-53-60. The State Auditor may conduct annual audits of the Horse Industry Promotion Fund, and the manner in which the assessments are imposed and expended to ensure that the funds are collected and utilized as required by this chapter."
SECTION 3. The South Carolina Horsemen's Council is requested and encouraged to survey its members regarding the imposition, pursuant to Chapter 53, Title 46 of the 1976 Code, of the assessment on all commercial feed labeled for equine use, which will be utilized for the promotion of the horse industry in this State. The results of this survey must be reported to the Equine Industry Promotion Board, the Governor, the General Assembly, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and other public officials having interests in the South Carolina horse industry, as determined by the South Carolina Horsemen's Council.
SECTION 4. Of the initial appointees by the Commissioner of Agriculture to the Equine Industry Promotion Board created pursuant to Section 46-53-30 of the 1976 Code, as added by Section 2 of this act, three members shall serve terms of four years, three members shall serve terms of three years, and three members shall serve terms of two years, as designated by the Commissioner of Agriculture upon making these appointments.
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 10:00 A.M.