Legislative Look In: Budget and Policy Positions Status Updates at Crossover Point

The 2024 session of the South Carolina General Assembly last week reached crossover,  the deadline for when bills must pass from one chamber to the other to stay alive in the process. This offers an opportunity to update you on the status of SCAC’s advocacy work on policy positions this far.

The state budget passed the House and Senate Finance Committee and included increased funding to the Local Government Fund (LGF) by more than $13.8 million statewide, representing full funding to the LGF under statutory formula.

See the updated LGF County Allocation Estimates Chart and Rural County Stabilization Estimates Chart.

The full Senate will begin budget discussions the week of April 22.

In addition, below are a few bills addressing policy positions the SCAC team and county officials have successfully advocated for:

Revenue, Finance and Economic Development

  • Auditor’s Endorsements on Deeds—H. 3608 removes the requirement that county auditors endorse deeds for conveyance for real property but permits them to do so either before or after recording the deed. Status: Enrolled for ratification.
  • Fire District Millage Cap Exemption — H. 4294 would allow a fire protection district in a rural county to exceed the millage cap to support fire services. Status: Passed the House.
  • Low Income Housing Property Tax Exemption Fix — H.1017 states a nonprofit housing corporation only gets a complete property tax exemption if it has more than a 50% ownership interest in the property. It must certify to the Department of Revenue (DOR) the percentage of its owner interest in the property and annually report to DOR the percentage of its economic interest in the property to show it continues to meet exemption qualifications.Status: Passed the Senate.
  • Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption —  H.3116 allows permanently and totally disabled veterans (and their spouses residing together) to claim property tax exemption for their owner-occupied property in the year the disability occurs. Status: Enrolled for ratification.

Public Safety, Corrections and Judicial

  • Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Litigation — S.845 allows a probate action to be brough specifically for death-related claims due to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, regardless of when the decedent died. Status: Passed the Senate.
  • Probate Code Proceedings and Updates H.4234 and H. 4559 would update the probate laws in compliance with the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, and make changes to the procedures for guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. Status: Passed the House.
  • Prosecutors Personal Privacy Protection Act S.841 ensures personal identifying information held by a local or state government about active and former solicitors including deputies and assistants along with attorney generals, public defenders, and U.S. attorneys for the District of South Carolina would be kept confidential and not disclosed to the public if the individual files a formal request with the governing body holding the information. It also limits the redaction requests to county databases and online documents containing the personal identifying information. Status: Passed the Senate.

Land Use, Natural Resources and Transportation

Redevelopment Authorities (RDAs): Tax Increment Financing for Affordable Housing H. 4552 adds certain affordable housing projects to what qualifies as a redevelopment project for federal military installations. It also extends the bonding period for redevelopment projects from 15 to 30 years and allows municipalities to spend tax increment finance district dollars outside RDAs for items like infrastructure support. Status: Passed the House.

This is the second of a two-year session, meaning bills that do not pass must be reintroduced next year.

Get more details and stay updated on the latest legislative happenings important to counties in SCAC’s weekly Friday Report. View online at sccounties.org/friday-reports or subscribe at sccounties.org/email.