2017 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 4 - Counties
Section 4-10-540. Imposition of sales and use tax to replace vehicle tax.

Universal Citation: SC Code § 4-10-540 (2017)

(A) Subject to the requirements of this article, the county council by ordinance may impose a sales and use tax in increments of one-tenth of one percent, not to exceed two percent, subject to referendum approval. The rate of the tax must be set at an amount expressed in tenths of one percent estimated to be sufficient to produce revenues that do not exceed those necessary to replace private passenger motor vehicle, motorcycle, general aviation aircraft, boat, and boat motor property tax revenue in the county in the most recently completed fiscal year, but in no case more than two percent. The county council must obtain from the Board of Economic Advisors the board's certified estimate of the rate of sales and use tax necessary in the county to equal property tax revenues derived from private passenger motor vehicles, motorcycles, general aviation aircraft, boats, and boat motors in the latest completed fiscal year. If this rate exceeds two percent, the maximum rate the board may certify is two percent. This certified rate is the rate of tax that must appear in the referendum question. If the revenue of a two percent tax does not at least equal the revenue not collected, then for the first year of implementation, the shortfall must be made up by a distribution to the county from the Trust Fund for Tax Relief, and this distribution is considered additional sales tax revenue pursuant to this article. Thereafter, this distribution must be adjusted by an amount equal to any increase in the consumer price index in the most recently completed calendar year, but in no case may this distribution result in a reimbursement to a county that exceeds the personal property tax revenue not collected because of the exemption allowed by this article.

(B) If the property tax assessment ratio applicable to private passenger motor vehicles and motorcycles is reduced, then for a county where the tax allowed by this article is imposed, the board shall certify a new tax rate applying the reduced assessment ratio to the assessed value of vehicles in the county in the most recently completed fiscal year, using the millage applicable for that fiscal year, and calculate a tax rate sufficient to produce that revenue in a fiscal year plus the revenue not collected because of the exemption for general aviation aircraft, boats, and boat motors from the original calculation, not to exceed two percent. This new rate applies effective beginning with the month the assessment ratio changes and continues to apply while that assessment ratio applies or until the tax is rescinded.

HISTORY: 2000 Act No. 387, Part II, Section 99A, eff March 6, 2001.

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