South Carolina General Assembly
103rd Session, 1979-1980

Bill 3512


                    Current Status

Bill Number:               3512
Ratification Number:       627
Act Number                 506
Introducing Body:          House
Subject:                   Relating to the tax on gasoline and
                           other motor fuels
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(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

(A506, R627, H3512)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 12-27-230, 12-27-240, 12-27-330, 12-27-380, 12-27-400, 12-27-610, 12-27-520, 12-29-150, 12-29-310, 12-31-410 AND 12-31-450, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, ALL AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE TAX ON GASOLINE AND OTHER MOTOR FUELS, SO AS TO INCREASE THE TAX AND FURTHER PROVIDE FOR DISTRIBUTION; TO AMEND SECTION 56-3-620, RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION AND LICENSE FEES, SO AS TO PROVIDE A TEN DOLLAR FEE FOR THE REGISTRATION AND LICENSING OF ALL VEHICLES; TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTIONS 39-41-220 AND 39-41-230, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE INSPECTION, SAMPLING, TESTING AND QUALITY OF METHYL OR ETHYL ALCOHOL USED AS MOTOR FUEL OR BLENDED WITH GASOLINE TO PRODUCE GASOHOL AND TO PROVIDE THAT GASOHOL SHALL BE ANHYDROUS; TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 12-27-420, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT METHYL OR ETHYL ALCOHOL PRODUCED UNDER FEDERAL AUTHORITY FOR NONCOMMERCIAL PURPOSES IN UNBLENDED FORM AS FUEL IN GASOLINE ENGINES IS EXEMPT FROM THE TAX ON GASOLINE AND OTHER MOTOR FUELS UNTIL JANUARY 1, 1985; TO CREATE A COMMITTEE ON ALTERNATE SOURCES FOR FUNDING THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION; AND TO REPEAL SECTIONS 56-3-810 AND 56-3-820, RELATING TO HIGHWAY SAFETY FEES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Payment of license tax

Section 1. Section 12-27-230 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 2 of Act 1~7 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line nine "8.09" and inserting "8.84". The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-27-230. Every oil company doing domestic or intrastate business within this State and engaging in the business of selling, consigning, using, shipping or distributing for the purpose of sale within this State any gasoline or any substitute therefor, or combination thereof, for the privilege of carrying on such business shall be subject to the payment of a license tax, which shall be measured by and graduated in accordance with the volume of sales of such oil company within the State. Every such oil company shall pay to the State an amount of money equal to 8.84 cents per gallon on all gasoline, combinations thereof or substitutes therefor sold or consigned, used, shipped or distributed for the purpose of sale within the state. The license tax imposed by this section shall be in lieu of all sales, use or other excise tax which may otherwise be imposed by any municipality, county or other local political subdivision of the State."

Additional tax on gasoline

Section 2. Section 12-27-240 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 3 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line three "1.91" and inserting "2.16". The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-27-240. In addition to the tax imposed by Section 12-27-230, every such oil company shall pay to the State an additional amount of money equal to 2.16 cents per gallon on all gasoline, combinations thereof or substitutes therefor, sold or consigned, used, shipped or distributed for the purpose of sale within this State. All the provisions of this chapter shall apply with equal force and effect to the additional tax on gasoline levied by this section."

Companies may deduct portion of tax

Section 3. Section 12-27-330 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 12 of Act 141 of 1977, is further amended to read:

"Section 12-27-330. For the purpose of defraying the attendant administrative costs, any domestic oil company in this State filing a timely monthly return and tax remittance, as required by Section 12-27-320, may deduct from the tax so remitted one and sixty-five hundredths percent of the tax collected pursuant to Sections 12-27-230 and 12-27-240. The amount of such deduction shall not exceed five hundred dollars for any one month."

Distribution of gasoline tax

Section 4. Section 12-27-380 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 4 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line one "8.09" and inserting "8.84", by striking on line three "7.09" and inserting "7.84" and by adding at the end: "Provided, however, that the funds collected under the provisions of this section shall be used in an equitable manner to construct and maintain the roads in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county." The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-27-380. The license tax of 8.84 cents per gallon on gasoline as levied and provided for in this article shall be distributed as follows: 7.84 cents on each gallon shall be turned over to the Department of Highways and Public Transportation for the purpose of the Department and one cent per gallon shall be distributed to the counties of the State to be used exclusively for the construction and maintenance of county roads. The distribution of the one cent per gallon license ta~ among the counties shall be in the proportion that the total of the sums received from motor vehicle license fees collected from motor vehicles registered in the several counties bears to the total of the sums received from all motor vehicle license fees collected in the State, except that fifteen percent of the amount for distribution in excess of 2.17 percent of the total amount for distribution shall be withheld from those counties receiving in excess of 2.17 percent of the total for distribution and the amount thus withheld shall be distributed equally among counties receiving less than 2.17 percent. But in no case shall the distribution of such fifteen percent increase the distributive share of any County to an amount in excess of 2.17 percent of the total for distribution and no county shall receive less than fourteen thousand dollars per year. In making adjustments necessary to bring the distributive share of each county to the fourteen thousand dollar minimum herein established, the total of the amount between a twelve thousand dollar minimum and the fourteen thousand dollar minimum shall be taken equally from the distributive shares otherwise due to the four counties receiving the largest amounts hereunder. Provided, however, that the funds collected under the provisions of this section shall be used in an equitable manner to construct and maintain the roads in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county."

Expenditure of moneys collected

Section 5. Section 12-27-400 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 5 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line seventeen "1.91" and inserting "2.16" and by adding at the end: "Provided, however, that approval of the expenditure of 'C' funds shall be in an equitable manner in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county." The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-27-400. The moneys collected by the Commission pursuant to the provisions of Section 12-27-240 shall be deposited with the State Treasurer and expended on the State Highway Secondary System for construction, improvements and maintenance and, together with any other funds made available for the purpose, shall be apportioned among the counties of the State in the following manner: one-third in the ratio which the land area of the county bears to the total land area of the State; one-third in the ratio which the population of the county bears to the total population of the State as shown by the latest official decennial census; and one-third in the ratio which the mileage of all rural public roads in the county bears to the total rural road mileage in the State as shown by the latest official records of the Department of Highways and Public Transportation.

The construction, improvement and maintenance of the farm-to-market or state secondary highway program shall be at least equal to the amount of revenue derived from the tax of 2.16 cents on motor fuel.

The expenditure of funds known as 'C' construction funds shall have the approval of a majority of the legislative delegation members of the county in which the expenditures are to be made. Provided, however, that approval of the expenditure of 'C' funds shall be in an equitable manner in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county."

Gasoline tax

Section 6. Section 12-27-510 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 6 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line nine "8.09" and inserting "8.84". The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-27-510. Every person, firm corporation, municipality or county, or any subdivision thereof, in the State which shall import into this State from any other state or foreign country or shall receive by any means into this State and keep in storage in this State for a period of twenty-four hours or more after it shall have lost its interstate character as a shipment in interstate commerce any gasoline or any other like product of petroleum, under whatever name designated, which is intended to be stored or used for consumption in this State, shall pay a license tax of 8.84 cents per gallon for every gallon of gasoline or other like product of petroleum aforementioned which shall have been shipped or imported into this State from any other state or foreign country and which shall hereafter for a period of twenty-four hours after it loses its interstate character as a shipment of interstate commerce be kept in storage in this State to be used and consumed in this State by any person, firm, corporation, municipality, county or subdivision thereof and which has not already been subjected to the payment of the license taxes imposed upon the sale thereof by this chapter. One percent to cover loss by evaporation, spillage or otherwise shall be deducted by the taxpayer when remitting the tax required by this section."

Additional tax

Section 7. Section 12-27-520 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 7 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking beginning on line three "one and ninety-one" and inserting "two

and one-sixteenths". The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-27-520. In addition to the tax imposed by Section 12-27-510, every such person, firm, corporation, municipality or county, or any subdivision thereof, shall pay an additional tax of two and one-sixteenths hundredths cents per gallon for every gallon of gasoline or other like product of petroleum under whatever name designated on which a tax is imposed by Section 12-27-510. All the provisions of this chapter shall apply with equal force and effect to the additional tax on gasoline levied by this section."

Persons to be licensed by Tax Commission

Section 8. Section 12-29-150 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 8 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line twenty-three "ten" and inserting "eleven" and by striking the second, third and fourth paragraphs and inserting:

"The Commission may require any person required to secure a license under the provisions of this section to post a bond either by cash or by a surety company authorized to do business in this State in an amount to be determined by the Tax Commission. This section shall not apply to any person or firm maintaining storage facilities for kerosene of not more than three hundred gallons and whose average monthly sales do not exceed twelve hundred gallons. The reports required by this section shall be filed on or before the twentieth day of each month and shall show all inventories, purchases, sales and use of fuel by the licensee during the preceding calendar month." The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-29-150. Any person who purchases, sells or uses combustible gases or liquids, except gasoline which may be used to propel a motor vehicle, shall be licensed by the Tax Commission and shall file with the Commission, upon such forms as the Commission may prescribe, a report which shall show the amount of such fuel purchased, sold or used; provided, that a person licensed as a supplier or a person buying fuel for use and not for resale upon which the tax has been paid at the time of the purchase shall not be required to be licensed by this section, except that any person who operates or causes to be operated motor carriers and who maintains bulk storage facilities in this State for the purpose of purchasing and storing tax paid motor fuel other than gasoline for use in such motor carriers shall secure a license and file reports as required by this section; provided, further, that any person acquiring any such fuel solely for heating purposes and not for resale or for the sole purpose of operating locomotives, farm tractors, pleasure boats or commercial watercraft, aircraft and such fuel used solely for the purpose of manufacturing or processing materials shall not be required to be licensed under this section; provided, further, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a seller-user of liquefied petroleum gas. All combustible gases and liquids not specifically reported and shown to be used for non-highway purposes shall be taxed at the rate of eleven cents per gallon together with interest and penalties as provided by Section 12-29-620.

The Commission may require any person required to secure a license under the provisions of this section to post a bond either by cash or by a surety company authorized to do business in this State in an amount to be determined by the Tax Commission. This section shall not apply to any person or firm maintaining storage facilities for kerosene of not more than three hundred gallons and whose average monthly sales do not exceed twelve hundred gallons. The reports required by this section shall be filed on or before the twentieth day of each month and shall show all inventories, purchases, sales and use of fuel by the licensee during the preceding calendar month."

Tax on fuel sold

Section 9. Section 12-29-310 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 9 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line one "ten" and inserting "eleven". The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-29-310. A tax at the rate of eleven cents per gallon is hereby imposed upon all fuel sold or delivered by any supplier to any person not licensed as a supplier under the provisions of this chapter."

Road tax

Section 10. Section 12-31-410 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 10 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line three "ten" and inserting "eleven". The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-31-410. A road tax for the privilege of using the streets and highways in this State is hereby imposed upon every motor carrier. The tax shall be equivalent to eleven cents per gallon, calculated on the amount of gasoline or other motor fuel used by such motor carrier in its operations within this State. Except as credit for certain taxes as provided for in this chapter, taxes imposed on motor carriers by this chapter are in addition to any taxes imposed upon such carriers by any other provisions of law."

Carriers entitled to credit

Section 11. Section 12-31-450 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Section 11 of Act 197 of 1979, is further amended by striking on line two "ten" and inserting "eleven". The section when amended shall read:

"Section 12-31-450. Every motor carrier subject to the tax hereby imposed shall be entitled to a credit on such tax equivalent to eleven cents per gallon on all gasoline or other motor fuel purchased by such carrier within this State for use in operations either within or without this State and upon which gasoline or other motor fuel the tax imposed by the laws of this State has been paid by such carrier. Evidence of the payment of such tax in such form as may be required by or is satisfactory to the Commission shall be furnished by each carrier claiming the credit herein allowed. When the amount of the credit herein provided exceeds the amount of the tax for which the carrier is liable for the same quarter, such excess may under regulations of the Commission be allowed as a credit on the tax for which the carrier would be otherwise liable for another quarter or quarters. The Commission is hereby authorized to refund the amount of the credit herein allowed if within its discretion the refund is preferable to the credit. Such refund shall be made only if the carrier has fully complied with all the rules and regulations of the Commission and the provisions of this chapter."

Fee

Section 12. Section 56-3-620 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 56-3-620. For every private passenger-carrying vehicle the annual registration and license fee shall be ten dollars."

Repeal

Section 13. Sections 56-3-810 and 56-3-820 of the 1976 Code are repealed.

Gasohol subject to inspection, etc.

Section 14. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 39-41-220. Ethyl or methyl alcohol sold or offered for sale as motor fuel or to be blended with gasoline for the purpose of producing gasohol shall be subject to inspection, sampling and testing by the Department of Agriculture. Gasohol is defined as a blend of gasoline and at least ten percent ethyl or methyl alcohol.

Section 39-41-230. The Department of Agriculture shall promulgate regulations to insure the quality of methyl or ethyl alcohol used as motor fuels or in blends with other motor fuel. Alcohol blended with gasoline to produce gasohol shall be anhydrous."

Committee to make study

Section 15. The Committee on Alternate Sources for Funding the South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation shall make a study of the present salary schedule and compensation of state highway patrolmen with a view toward recommending changes and improvements in such schedule in order that the conscientious, hard-working and efficient members of this division of the Department of Highways and Public Transportation may be compensated commensurate with their duties and responsibilities. All state agencies, departments and institutions shall cooperate with the committee in carrying out its duties. The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly no later than the first week of the 1981 session.

Certain fuels exempt from tax

Section 16. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 12-27-420. Ethyl or methyl alcohol produced under the authority of Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 201.64, for noncommercial purposes used in an unblended form as fuel in gasoline engines is exempt from the tax imposed by this article until January 1, 1985."

Time effective

Section 17. This act shall take effect October 1, 1980.