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Bill Number: 441 Ratification Number: 528 Act Number 449 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Turnpike projects
(A449, R528, S441)
AN ACT TO AMEND ARTICLE 9 OF CHAPTER 5 OF TITLE 57, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO TURNPIKE PROJECTS, SO AS TO CHANGE THE PROCEDURE FOR AUTHORIZING TURNPIKE PROJECTS AND THE PROVISIONS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF TURNPIKE REVENUE BONDS TO FINANCE SUCH CONSTRUCTION AND PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Section 1. Article 9 of Chapter 5 of Title 57 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Section 57-5-1310. This article is intended to provide an additional and an alternative method for the provision of and financing of highways and appurtenant facilities to the end that such highways may be undertaken in such manner as may best be calculated to expedite relief of hazardous and congested traffic conditions on the highways in the State and provide acceptable avenues for commerce and intercommunications by vehicular traffic among the several sections of the State. In effecting this enactment, the General Assembly intends that the indebtedness herein authorized falls within the category permitted by paragraph 9 of Section 13 of Article g of the Constitution of South Carolina.
Section 57-5-1320. Unless the context indicates another meaning or intent:
1. 'Department' means the South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation;
2. 'Turnpike facility' means any express highway or limited access highway constructed under the provisions of this article by the Department, including any bridge, tunnel, overpass, underpass, interchange, entrance plaza, approach, toll house, service station and administration and storage and other buildings and facilities which the Department may deem necessary or desirable therefor. A turnpike facility may constitute a portion or extension of any existing or proposed highway in the state highway system;
3. 'Bonds or turnpike revenue bonds' mean revenue bonds of the State authorized under the provisions of this article;
4. 'State Board' means the State Budget and Control Board;
5. 'Turnpike facility revenues' mean all revenues resulting from tolls or other charges derived from the operation of a turnpike facility, including revenues derived from concession leases or other concessionaire operated facilities;
6. 'Bond resolution' means the resolution of the State Board making provision for the issuance of turnpike revenue bonds.
Section 57-5-1330. 1. The Department may designate, establish, plan, improve, construct, maintain, operate and regulate turnpike facilities as a part of the state highway system or any federal aid system whenever the Department determines the traffic conditions present or future, justify such facilities. The Department may utilize funds available for the maintenance of the state highway system for the maintenance of any turnpike facility financed pursuant to this article.
2. In every highway construction project, except federal and state secondary projects, rehabilitation and widening of federal and state primary and secondary road and bridge projects and highway safety projects, the Department shall consider making all or part of the highway construction a turnpike facility and financing it by the use of turnpike revenue bonds. It shall make an entry in the construction project file indicating whether or not it determines making all or part of the project a turnpike facility. If the Department determines it is feasible to make all or part of the construction project a turnpike facility, it may engage in such preliminary estimates and studies incident to the determination of the feasibility or practicability of constructing any toll road as it shall from time to time deem necessary and the cost of such preliminary estimates and studies shall be paid from the general highway fund and shall be reimbursed from funds provided under this authority only if such studies and estimates lead to the construction of a toll road.
3. The Department may acquire such lands and property including rights of access as may be needed for turnpike facilities by gift, devise, purchase, or condemnation by easement or in fee simple in the same manner as now or hereafter authorized by law for acquiring property or property rights in connection with other state highways.
4. In designating, establishing, planning, abandoning, improving, constructing, maintaining and regulating turnpike facilities the Department may exercise such authorizations as are granted to the Department by the provisions of other statute law applicable to the state highway system, except as they may be inconsistent with the provisions included herein.
5. The Department may contract with any person, partnership, association or corporation desiring the use of any part of the turnpike facility, including the right-of-way adjoining the paved portion, for placing thereon telephone, telegraph, electric light or power lines, gas stations, garages, stores, hotels and restaurants or for any other purpose, except tracks for railroad or railway use and to fix the terms, conditions, rents and rates of charges for such use provided that a sufficient number of the aforementioned facilities shall be authorized to be established in each service area along any such turnpike project to permit reasonable competition by private business in the public interest. Revenues from these contracts would be included in turnpike facility revenues.
Section 57-5-1340. In addition to the powers listed above, the Department of Highways and Public Transportation may:
1. Request the issuance of turnpike revenue bonds payable solely from turnpike facility revenues, for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of any one or more turnpike projects;
2. Fix and revise from time to time and charge and collect tolls for transit over each turnpike facility constructed by it;
3. Combine, for the purposes of financing the facilities, any two or more turnpike facilities;
4. Control access to turnpike facilities;
5. To the extent permitted by the bond resolution, expend turnpike facility or facilities revenues in advertising the facilities and services of the turnpike facility or facilities to the traveling public;
6. Receive and accept from any federal agency grants for or in the aid of the construction of any turnpike facility;
7. Do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this article.
Section 57-5-1350. Whenever it shall become necessary that moneys be raised for a turnpike facility, the Highways and Public Transportation Commission may make request to the State Board for the issuance of turnpike revenue bonds. Such request may be in the form of resolution adopted at any regular or special meeting of the Highways and Public Transportation commission. Such request shall set forth on the face thereof or by schedule attached thereto:
1. The turnpike facility proposed to be constructed;
2. The amount required for feasibility studies, planning, design, right-of-way acquisition and construction of the turnpike facility;
3. A tentative time schedule setting forth the period of time for which the sum requested shall be expended;
4. A debt service table showing the estimated annual principal and interest requirements for the requested turnpike revenue bonds;
5. Any feasibility study obtained by the Highways and Public Transportation Commission relating to the proposed turnpike facility;
6. The Commission's recommendations relating to any covenant to be made in the bond resolution of the State Board respecting competition between the proposed turnpike facility and possible future highways whose construction would have an adverse effect upon the turnpike revenues which would otherwise be derived by the proposed turnpike facility.
Section 57-5-1360. Following the receipt of any request pursuant to Section 57-5-1350, the State Board shall review the request and, to the extent that it shall approve such request, it may, by resolution duly adopted, effect the issuance of turnpike revenue bonds, or pending the issuance thereof, effect the issuance of bond anticipation notes pursuant to Title 11, Chapter 17. No resolution approving any proposed turnpike facility shall be adopted unless prior thereto the State Board shall conduct, after not less than ten days' published notice, a public hearing in the City of Columbia.
Section 57-5-1370. Turnpike revenue bonds may be issued from time to time under the conditions prescribed by this article.
Section 57-5-1380. For the payment of the principal of and interest on all turnpike revenue bonds, there shall be irrevocably pledged all turnpike revenues derived from the turnpike facility financed by such bonds to the extent and in the manner prescribed by the bond resolution.
Section 57-5-1390. Turnpike revenue bonds shall bear interest, payable on such occasions as shall be prescribed by the State Board, at a rate not exceeding the maximum prescribed by Section 11-9-350. Each issue of turnpike revenue bonds shall mature on such occasion as shall be prescribed by the State Board, not exceeding forty years from the date such bonds bear. Turnpike revenue bonds may, in the discretion of the State Board, be made subject to redemption at par and accrued interest, plus such redemption premium as it shall approve and on such occasions and under such conditions as it may prescribe. Turnpike revenue bonds shall not be redeemable before maturity unless they contain a statement to such effect.
Section 57-5-1400. Turnpike revenue bonds shall be sold at private or public sale under such conditions as shall be prescribed by the State Board.
For the purpose of bringing about successful sales of such bonds, the State Board may do all things ordinarily and customarily done in connection with the sale of state or municipal bonds. All expenses incident to the sale of such bonds shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale of such bonds.
Section 57-5-1410. All turnpike revenue bonds shall be executed in the name of and on behalf of the State of South Carolina and shall be signed by the Governor and the State Treasurer. The Great Seal of the State shall be affixed to, impressed or reproduced upon each of them and they shall be attested by the Secretary of State. If approved by the State Board, any one or two of such officers may, in lieu of manually signing, employ the use of the facsimile of their signatures in executing any turnpike revenue bonds.
Section 57-5-1420. The proceeds derived from the sale of turnpike revenue bonds shall be applied only to the purposes for which the bonds are issued.
Section 57-5-1430. Turnpike revenue bonds shall each be in the denomination of one thousand dollars or some multiple thereof.
Section 57-5-1440. Turnpike revenue bonds issued pursuant to this article may be in the form of negotiable coupon bonds, payable to bearer, with the privilege to the holder of having them registered in his name on the books of the State Treasurer as to principal only, or as to both principal and interest, and such principal or both principal and interest, as the case may be, thus made payable to the registered holder, subject to such conditions as the State Board may prescribe. Turnpike revenue bonds so registered as to principal in the name of the holder may thereafter be registered as payable to bearer and made payable accordingly.
Turnpike revenue bonds may also be issued as fully registered bonds with both principal and interest thereof made payable only to the registered holder. Such fully registered bonds shall be subject to transfer under such conditions as the State Board shall prescribe. Such fully registered bonds may, if the proceedings authorizing their issuance so provide, be convertible into negotiable coupon bonds with the attributes set forth in the first paragraph of this section.
Section 57-5-1450. Following the approval of the proposed project, the State Board may by resolution duly adopted make provision for the issuance of turnpike revenue bonds. In such resolution, the State Board may prescribe the following:
1. The amount, denomination and numbering of turnpike revenue bonds to be issued;
2. The date as of which they shall be issued;
3. The maturity schedule for the retirement of such turnpike revenue bonds;
4. The form or forms of the Bonds of the particular issue;
5. The redemption provisions, if any, applicable to such bonds;
6. The maximum rate or rates of interest the bonds shall ,bear;
7. The specific purposes for which the bonds shall be issued;
8. The purposes for which the proceeds of the bonds shall be expended; in the discretion of the State Board, a portion of the proceeds may be used as capitalized interest during the period of construction and initial operation and for the creation of appropriate debt service reserves;
9. The method and conditions by which turnpike revenues from the turnpike facility so financed shall be collected and utilized;
10. The extent to which and the conditions under which additional parity bonds may be issued;
11. Any covenant deemed necessary protecting the turnpike facility so financed from possible future competition from other highways or comparable facilities;
12. The method by which such bonds shall be sold and such other matters as may be deemed necessary in order to effect the sale, issuance and delivery thereof.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, all expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this article shall be payable solely from funds provided under the authority of this article or from any funds provided by the federal government or from other special sources and no liability or obligation shall be incurred by the Department beyond the extent to which money shall have been provided under the provisions of this article.
Such resolution shall further set forth a finding on the part of the State Board that the estimate of turnpike facility revenues made by the Highways and Public Transportation Commission and approved by the State Board indicates that collection from turnpike revenues for applicable fiscal years shall not be less than that required for annual debt service requirements of the requested turnpike revenue bonds.
Section 57-5-1460. If following presentation of a certified copy of the bond resolution it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Governor and the State Treasurer that the estimated collection from the sources of revenue in applicable future fiscal years shall not be less than that required for annual debt service requirements for the requested turnpike revenue bonds, the Governor and State Treasurer may effect the delivery of bonds in accordance with the bond resolution.
Section 57-5-1470. All turnpike revenue bonds issued under this article, and the interest thereon, shall be exempt from all state, county, municipal, school district, and other taxes or assessment, direct or indirect, general or special, imposed by the State of South Carolina, whether imposed for the purpose of general revenue or otherwise, except inheritance, estate, or transfer taxes. Each turnpike facility shall constitute a portion of the state highway system and as such shall not be subject to ad valorem or other forms of taxation by the State or any of its political subdivisions.
Section 57-5-1480. It shall be lawful for all executors, administrators, guardians and other fiduciaries and all sinking fund commissions, including the State Budget and Control Board in its capacities as trustee of the funds of the South Carolina Retirement System and as manager and administrator of other state sinking funds, to invest any moneys in their hands in turnpike revenue bonds.
Section 57-5-1490. Any person who uses any turnpike project and fails or refuses to pay the toll provided therefor shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, and in addition thereto the Department shall have a lien upon the vehicle driven by such person for the amount of such toll and may take and retain possession thereof."
Section 2. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.