2017 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 4 - Counties
CHAPTER 10 - LOCAL SALES AND USE TAX
Section 4-10-330. Contents of ballot question; purpose for which proceeds of tax to be used.

Universal Citation: SC Code § 4-10-330 (2017)

(A) The sales and use tax authorized by this article is imposed by an enacting ordinance of the county governing body containing the ballot question formulated by the commission pursuant to Section 4-10-320(C), subject to referendum approval in the county. The ordinance must specify:

(1) the purpose for which the proceeds of the tax are to be used, which may include projects located within or without, or both within and without, the boundaries of the local governmental entities, including the county, municipalities, and special purpose districts located in the county area, and may include the following types of projects:

(a) highways, roads, streets, bridges, and public parking garages and related facilities;

(b) courthouses, administration buildings, civic centers, hospitals, emergency medical facilities, police stations, fire stations, jails, correctional facilities, detention facilities, libraries, coliseums, educational facilities under the direction of an area commission for technical education, or any combination of these projects;

(c) cultural, recreational, or historic facilities, or any combination of these facilities;

(d) water, sewer, or water and sewer projects;

(e) flood control projects and storm water management facilities;

(f) beach access and beach renourishment;

(g) dredging, dewatering, and constructing spoil sites, disposing of spoil materials, and other matters directly related to the act of dredging;

(h) jointly operated projects of the county, a municipality, special purpose district, and school district, or any combination of those entities, for the projects delineated in subitems (a) through (g) of this item;

(i) any combination of the projects described in subitems (a) through (h) of this item;

(2) the maximum time, in two-year increments not to exceed eight years from the date of imposition, or in the case of a reimposed tax, a period ending on April thirtieth, not to exceed seven years, for which the tax may be imposed;

(3)(a) if the county proposes to issue bonds to provide for the payment of any costs of the projects, the maximum amount of bonds to be issued, whether the sales tax proceeds are to be pledged to the payment of the bonds and, if other sources of funds are to be used for the projects, specifying the other sources;

(b) the maximum cost of the project or facilities or portion of the project or portion of the facilities, to be funded from proceeds of the tax or bonds issued as provided in this article and the maximum amount of net proceeds expected to be used to pay the cost or debt service on the bonds, as the case may be; and

(4) any other condition precedent, as determined by the commission, to the imposition of the sales and use tax authorized by this article or condition or restriction on the use of sales and use tax revenue collected pursuant to this article.

(B) When the tax authorized by this article is imposed for more than one purpose, the enacting ordinance must set forth the priority in which the net proceeds are to be expended for the purposes stated. The enacting ordinance may set forth a formula or system by which multiple projects are funded simultaneously.

(C)(1) Upon receipt of the ordinance, the county election commission must conduct a referendum on the question of imposing the sales and use tax in the area of the county that is to be subject to the tax. The referendum for imposition or reimposition of the tax must be held at the time of the general election. Subject to item (2), two weeks before the referendum the election commission must publish in a newspaper of general circulation the question that is to appear on the ballot, with the list of projects and the cost of the projects. If the proposed question includes the use of sales taxes to defray debt service on bonds issued to pay the costs of any project, the notice must include a statement indicating that principal amount of the bonds proposed to be issued for the purpose and, if the issuance of the bonds is to be approved as part of the referendum, stating that the referendum includes the authorization of the issuance of bonds in that amount. This notice is in lieu of any other notice otherwise required by law.

(2) If the referendum on the question of imposing sales and use tax is conducted in an odd-numbered year, and it is the only matter being considered at the general election, then six weeks before the referendum, the election commission must publish in a newspaper of general circulation the question that is to appear on the ballot, with the list of projects and the cost of the projects.

(D) The referendum question to be on the ballot must read substantially as follows:

"Must a special one percent sales and use tax be imposed in (county) for not more than (time) to raise the amounts specified for the following purposes?

(1) $________ for __________ (2) $________ for __________ (3) etc. Yes [] No []"

If the referendum includes the issuance of bonds, the question must be revised to include the principal amount of bonds proposed to be authorized by the referendum and the sources of payment of the bonds if the sales tax approved in the referendum is inadequate for the payment of the bonds.

(E) All qualified electors desiring to vote in favor of imposing the tax for the stated purposes shall vote "yes" and all qualified electors opposed to levying the tax shall vote "no". If a majority of the votes cast are in favor of imposing the tax, then the tax is imposed as provided in this article and the enacting ordinance. A subsequent referendum on this question must be held on the date prescribed in subsection (C). The election commission shall conduct the referendum under the election laws of this State, mutatis mutandis, and shall certify the result no later than November thirtieth to the county governing body and to the Department of Revenue. Expenses of the referendum must be paid by the governmental entities that would receive the proceeds of the tax in the same proportion that those entities would receive the net proceeds of the tax.

(F) Upon receipt of the returns of the referendum, the county governing body must, by resolution, declare the results thereof. In such event, the results of the referendum, as declared by resolution of the county governing body, are not open to question except by a suit or proceeding instituted within thirty days from the date such resolution is adopted.

HISTORY: 1997 Act No. 138, Section 3, eff July 1, 1997; 1999 Act No. 93, Section 2, eff June 11, 1999; 2002 Act No. 334, Sections 22.A, 22.B and 22.E, eff June 24, 2002; 2004 Act No. 244, Section 2, eff May 24, 2004; 2004 Act No. 292, Section 2, eff August 16, 2004; 2009 Act No. 49, Section 2, eff upon approval (became law without the Governor's signature on June 3, 2009); 2012 Act No. 268, Section 1, eff June 20, 2012; 2014 Act No. 243 (S.809), Section 1, eff June 6, 2014; 2016 Act No. 250 (H.5078), Sections 2, 4, eff June 6, 2016.

Editor's Note

2009 Act No. 49 Section 5 provides as follows:

"This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor; provided, that the amendments to Section 4-10-330(A)(1)(b) of the 1976 Code, as contained in Section 2, apply with respect to Capital Project Sales and Use Tax Act taxes imposed or reimposed pursuant to a referendum held after the effective date of this act."

2014 Act No. 243, Section 2, provides as follows:

"SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor and first applies to a referendum for which a referendum date is not set as of the time of approval."

Effect of Amendment

The 1999 amendment changed the election commission certification deadline in subsection (E) from "December thirty-first" to "November thirtieth".

The first 2002 amendment rewrote paragraph (A)(3) and subsection (C); and in subsection (D), added the last undesignated paragraph.

The first 2004 amendment, in paragraph (A)(1), in subparagraph (a) added "and public parking garages and related facilities", added subparagraph (f) relating to beaches, redesignated subparagraphs (f) and (g) as subparagraphs (g) and (h), and made conforming changes throughout.

The second 2004 amendment in subparagraph (A)(1)(a), made identical changes to those made by 2004 act No. 244, Section 2.

The 2009 amendment, in subsection (A), in subparagraph (1)(b) added "educational facilities under the direction of an area commission for technical education," and in subparagraph (2) substituted "in two-year increments" for "stated in terms of calendar or fiscal years or quarters, or a combination thereof,", "eight years" for "seven years", and added "or in the case of a reimposed tax, a period ending on April thirtieth of an odd-numbered year, not to exceed seven years"; and, in subsection (C), in the second sentence substituted "imposition or reimposition of the tax" for "this purpose" and "2009" for "2002.

The 2012 amendment in subsection (A)(1), added a new subitem (g) relating to dredging, and redesignated former subitems (g) and (h) as (h) and (i).

2014 Act No. 243, Section 1, rewrote subsection (C), deleting a provision allowing the referendum for imposition or reimposition to be held at a time other than at the time of the general election.

2016 Act No. 250, Sections 2, 4 in (A)(2), deleted "of an odd-numbered year" following "ending on April thirtieth"; in (C), added designator (1); in (C)(1), substituted "Subject to item (2), two" for "Two"; and added (C)(2), relating to particular referendum publication requirements for certain sales and use tax questions.

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