Friday Reports

The Friday Report, is prepared and distributed every Friday of the legislative session. The most recent Friday Report will always appear on the home page. 

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Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 4:12pm

The General Assembly continued to race through legislation as the session is quickly coming to a close. The House spent a considerable amount of time debating execution methods for inmates on death row, while the Senate spent most of the week debating an open carry gun bill. There are several bills of interest that moved that will be discussed.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

Property Tax Installment Payment Flexibility – H. 3482. This bill, an SCAC policy position, would provide the treasurer, tax collector, or other official charged with the collection of ad valorem property taxes in a county with the discretion in the scheduling and collection of installment payments from taxpayers. The Senate gave H. 3482 second reading this week. Please thank Sen. Fanning for his help in ensuring that this bill received second reading.

Legally Separated Assessment Ratio – S. 527. This bill would define “legally separated” for purposes of the certificate contained in the application for the special 4 percent assessment ratio for owner-occupied residential property, an SCAC policy position. The House Ways and Means Committee gave the bill a favorable report and it is pending second reading on the House calendar.

Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy – H. 3354. H. 3354 would provide a property tax exemption for solar panels placed on the rooftops of residential homes. InRead Full Report

Friday, April 30, 2021 - 9:47am

The Senate passed the budget bill this week while the House continues to work to clear its calendar before the General Assembly adjourns on Thursday, May 13th. However, the House introduced a Sine Die Resolution this week (H. 4285). If the Sine Die Resolution is adopted by the Senate, the General Assembly will meet several times in the month of June to complete any unfinished work on the budget, take up conference reports, Governor vetoes, and a few other specified items. They will also likely meet in the fall to adopt redistricting plans.

As a reminder, county funding allocations from the federal government should be distributed within the next week or two. For your county to receive its allocation it must have an active SAM registration and valid DUNS number. Information about this can be found on SCAC’s website.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

1. H. 4100 – State Budget.

The Senate finished their debate on the budget this week and gave H. 4100 third reading. The Senate increased funding to the Local Government Fund (LGF) by $17.92 million statewide. This is the same amount that was approved by the Senate Finance Committee. This funding amount represents full funding to the LGF including all back funding that was imperiled because of the state operating under a Continuing Resolution in light of the ongoing pandemic. The funding amounts for the LGF are slightly different in the House and Senate versions ofRead Full Report

Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 2:34pm

The House continued to move bills along on their calendar this week, while the Senate spent most of the week debating what to do with Santee Cooper (see below). The Senate will begin debate on the budget on Tuesday of next week. We will discuss the budget as passed by the Senate Finance Committee as well as other bills of interest below.

As discussed last week, the US Treasury Department issued initial directives on steps counties need to take to begin the process of drawing down the American Rescue Plan funds for counties. SCAC has posted information about those directives.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

1. H. 4100 – State Budget.

The Senate Finance Committee finished their work on the budget this week and passed H. 4100 out of committee. The committee increased funding to the Local Government Fund (LGF) by $17.92 million statewide. This amount is slightly more than what was passed by the House. Here is a link to a chart outlining the difference between the funding amounts for each county. This represents full funding to the LGF including all back funding that was imperiled because of the state operating under a Continuing Resolution in light of the ongoing pandemic. The Committee also raised library per capita funding from $2 to $2.25, an SCAC policy position. The Committee also included $47.6 million in theirRead Full Report

Friday, April 16, 2021 - 9:48am

After the mad rush to meet the crossover deadline of April 10th last week, the House calendar was rather light, while the Senate spent most of the week in committees working on the budget. Still, there was movement on a few bills of interest that will be discussed below.

On an additional note, the US Treasury Department issued initial directives on steps counties need to take to begin the process of drawing down the American Rescue Plan funds for counties. Information from SCAC about those directives is available on the SCAC website.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

Budget – H. 4100. The Senate Finance Committee met this week to take up provisos within the 2021-2022 budget bill. The plan is for the committee to meet again next week to take up the line-item appropriations and hopefully pass the budget bill on to the Senate floor by the end of the week. SCAC staff will report on all relevant provisos and appropriations once the full committee gives H. 4100 a favorable report.

Manufacturing Property Tax Exemption Exclusion – H. 4064. At least one major utility is paying its property taxes under protest claiming it is eligible for the manufacturing property tax exemption, which the state fully funds. H. 4064 clarifies that the manufacturing property tax exemption does not apply to utilities, which was the original intent of the exemption. The Senate Finance CommitteeRead Full Report

Friday, April 9, 2021 - 9:17am

Both chambers spent the majority of the week on the floor in order to give bills third reading to meet the crossover date of April 10th. Any bill that did not receive third reading in one chamber by yesterday is likely done for this session and will have to be taken up next year. There are several bills of interest that will be discussed below.

Revenue, Finance and Economic Development

SCAC staff watches intently as the Senate votes on
S. 401, an SCAC Policy Position.

Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility – H. 3948. This bill, an SCAC policy position, would allow the counties that impose a Transportation Penny Tax pursuant to Chapter 37, Title 4 to also conduct a referendum to impose a 1 percent Capital Project Sales Tax. The bill deletes the restriction that the area of the county can only be subject to one of those authorizations.

The House adopted an amendment on the floor to further allow counties with the Capital Project Sales Tax to conduct a referendum to impose the Transportation Penny, as well. This would provide this flexibility to all counties. The bill passed the House and was referred to Senate Finance. Please thank Reps. Crawford, Murrell Smith, Pendarvis, Stavrinakis, and Murphy for their help in moving this important bill for counties.

Property Tax Installment Payment Flexibility – HRead Full Report

Thursday, April 1, 2021 - 10:57am

In observance of Good Friday, the Friday Report is being sent out today. The House was on furlough this week, while the Senate met on Tuesday and Wednesday. Next week is crossover,  which means bills that do not pass from one chamber to the other by April 10th  will likely not pass this session. The Senate moved several bills of interest that will be discussed below.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

Community Development Credits – S. 436. This bill would raise the cap on the community development tax credits, which are issued on a first-come first-served basis. A Senate Finance subcommittee amended S. 436 with a strike and insert amendment to change the cap to $9 million, allowing for $1 million in total tax credits for tax year 2021, and $2 million for 2022. The full committee also adopted the amendment and S. 436 is now on the Senate calendar.  

Rental Assistance – H. 3770. This bill would provide procedures for disbursing the federal funds under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program by creating the South Carolina Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program would be administered by the South Carolina State Housing Financing and Development Authority. Funds would be disbursed in accordance with the procedures in Section 2(A) of Act 135 of 2020. The bill was given third reading in the Senate and returned to the House.

Return to Work Within School System –Read Full Report

Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 3:57pm

The House passed the budget bill and the capital reserve fund bill and sent them over to the Senate. The House will be on furlough next week. The following week, both the House and Senate will be racing to move bills to meet the crossover date of April 9th. The Senate will meet in-person Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and then meet in perfunctory session on Thursday in observance of Easter. The budget bills along with several other bills of interest will be discussed below.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

  1. State Budget and the Local Government Fund (LGF) – H. 4100
    State Budget and the Local Government Fund (LGF) – H. 4100. The House debated and passed the budget bill this week. Included in its version of the budget that will now head to the Senate is an increase in funding to the Local Government Fund (LGF) by $17,624,049 statewide. This represents full funding to the LGF including all back-funding that was imperiled because of the state operating under a Continuing Resolution in light of the ongoing pandemic. The House-passed budget also raised library per capita funding from $2 to $2.25, an SCAC policy position. Other provisos of note included in H. 4100.
  2. Vehicle Tax Notices – S. 195. This bill would require that tax notices of all vehicles and boats must set forth the fair market value used for the vehicle or boat. The Senate passed S. 195 this
  3. Read Full Report
Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 11:19am

There was a flurry of committee meetings this week as both the Senate and House raced to advance bills. The budget legislation will be debated on the House floor beginning next week. There are several bills of interest this week that will be discussed below.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

Josh Rhodes, SCAC Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel,
testifies before a House Ways and Means subcommittee.

Fire District Millage Caps – S. 401. As originally drafted, this bill would allow counties to adopt an ordinance or resolution to suspend the millage rate limitation for the purposes of supporting a fire protection district created pursuant to Chapter 19 of Title 4. SCAC staff, along with David Garner, Abbeville County Director and Vic Carpenter, Kershaw County Administrator, worked with Senator Gustafson, the sponsor of the bill, and testified at a Senate Finance subcommittee asking to amend the bill to also include those fire districts created pursuant to Title 6. The Senate Finance Committee adopted the amendment as well as an amendment limiting the suspension of the cap to two years after the effective date of the legislation. S. 401 is pending second reading on the Senate calendar.

Vehicle Tax Notices – S. 195. This bill would require that tax notices of all vehicles must set forth the fair market value used for theRead Full Report

Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 4:24pm

The General Assembly spent most of their time this week in committee meetings but did move several bills on the floor. The Ways and Means version of the budget will be debated on the House floor beginning the week of March 22nd. There are several bills of interest this week that will be discussed below.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

Abbeville County Director David Garner, Senators Penry Gustafson and Mike Gambrell, and Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter meet to discuss legislation before a Senate Finance subcommittee meeting.

Owen McBride testifies before a Senate Finance subcommittee.

Fire District Millage Caps – S. 401. As originally drafted, this bill would allow counties to adopt an ordinance or resolution to suspend the millage rate limitation for the purposes of supporting a fire protection district created pursuant to Chapter 19 of Title 4. SCAC staff, along with David Garner, Abbeville County Director and Vic Carpenter, Kershaw County Administrator worked with Senator Gustafson, the sponsor of the bill, and testified at a Senate Finance subcommittee asking to amend the bill to also include those fire districts created pursuant to Title 6. The subcommittee adopted the amendment as well as an amendment limiting the suspension of the cap to two years after the effective date of the legislation. S. 401 will be on the next full committee’s agenda.

Vehicle Tax Notices –Read Full Report

Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 3:04pm

The House Ways and Means Committee completed its work on a proposed budget along with provisos. The budget legislation will be debated on the House floor beginning the week of March 22nd. The Senate spent most of the week debating a bill dealing with the execution of inmates on death row and a school choice bill. The budget and other bills of interest this week will be discussed below.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

State Budget and the Local Government Fund (LGF) – H. 4100

The House Ways and Means Committee voted H. 4100, the budget bill, out of committee. The committee increased funding to the Local Government Fund (LGF) by $17,624,049 statewide. This represents full funding to the LGF including all back funding that was imperiled because of the state operating under a Continuing Resolution in light of the ongoing pandemic. Here is a link to see your county’s estimated allocation of the LGF: https://bit.ly/2NWfFnd

The committee also raised library per capita funding from $2 to $2.25, an SCAC policy position. Please thank the members of the House Ways and Means Committee for keeping their promise to counties and working to return much needed funding to county government throughout the state. Please also ask your House members to support H. 4100 as passed by the House Ways and Means Committee.

As passed, here are some provisos in H. 4100 that are of interest to counties:

34.8 – Emergency Medical Services. Provides for the allocation of Emergency Medical Services funds to counties, EMS Regional Councils, and the state EMS office. Prohibits fundsRead Full Report

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