2023 Legislative Wrap-Up


The South Carolina Association of Counties continues to advocate on behalf of county government and shape statewide legislation to benefit all South Carolina counties. Some highlights of the 2023 session include:

SC State Budget – H. 4300

SCAC works with legislative leaders to continue to ensure full funding in the Local Government Fund (LGF) and Rural Stabilization Fund. In FY2023-2024, the LGF will increase by over $13 million and $12 million will be returned to rural counties in the Rural Stabilization Fund. See the updated LGF County Allocation Estimates Chart and the updated RSF County Estimates Chart.

SCAC prevented provisos from being amended to withhold LGF revenues if certain funding thresholds aren’t provided to the Solicitors’ and Public Defenders’ Offices.

SCAC worked with legislators and stakeholders to avoid unintended consequences from a draconian penalty provision in a proviso related to bans on short-term rentals.

Status: The House and Senate passed the budget. See more details on the budget in the June 16 Friday Report.

Short Term Rental Bans – H. 3253

SCAC worked with the bill’s sponsor to amend this bill, which would have affected LGF and 6 percent property tax revenues, to not only remove those provisions but to add provisions related to the collection of accommodation taxes on short-term rentals, an SCAC policy position.

Status: The bill is currently in the House.

Municipal and County Audits – S. 31

SCAC saw an opportunity with this bill dealing with municipal audits to address an issue counties were having with their LGF being withheld. SCAC staff talked with the bill’s sponsor and legislative leaders to add an automatic 90-day grace period to the deadline for providing the county audits to the state before a county’s LGF will be impacted.

Status: The Governor’s veto was overridden by the Senate and the House and S. 31 has become an Act.

Commercial Rooftop Solar Property Taxes – H. 3948

SCAC took a bill that provided a 100 percent property tax exemption to all solar companies, including solar farms with fee-in-lieu of tax agreements, and rewrote the bill to limit it to rooftop solar to eliminate its fiscal impact on counties.

Status: The bill passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

Cell Phones in Jails – H. 4002

This bill initially only applied to state prisons, but SCAC leveraged its relationships to extend the prohibition of cell phones in prisons to county jails, an SCAC policy position.

Status: Passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Corrections and Penology.

Accommodations Tax Revenue for Workforce Housing – S. 284

SCAC staff worked with legislative leaders to ensure passage of this bill to allow accommodations tax revenue to be used to develop workforce housing, an important need in many counties.

Status: Signed by the Governor

Note: This was the first of a two-year session, meaning bills that did not pass are still active in 2024.