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2345Ratification Number: 56Act Number: 36Introducing Body: HouseSubject: South Carolina Heritage Trust Program
(A36, R56, H2345)
AN ACT TO AMEND ACT 600 OF 1976, RELATING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA HERITAGE TRUST PROGRAM, SO AS TO CREATE THE HERITAGE LAND TRUST FUND.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 11 of Act 600 of 1976 is amended to read:
"Section 11. The department shall include those costs and operating expenses necessary for the activities of the commission and the board as well as staff support to carry out the provisions of this act in the annual State Appropriation Act. Funding for management of areas and features which become Heritage Preserves must be specifically requested by the department or that entity of government responsible for management thereof.
The commission shall select those Heritage Preserves for which it is appropriate to charge an individual user fee. The department may sell such user permits for a cost not to exceed five dollars, and to be valid for the fiscal year in which issued at all Heritage Preserves where a permit is required. At the end of the fiscal year, the department shall distribute the funds collected among the entities of government assigned responsibility for management in direct proportion to the acreage which they manage. The proceeds of the sale of the user permits must be used to defray the management expenses."
SECTION 2. Act 600 of 1976 is amended by adding after Section 11:
"Section 11A. There is created the Heritage Land Trust Fund (the Fund), which must be kept separate from any other funds of the State. The Fund must be administered by the Wildlife and Marine Resources Commission for the purpose of acquiring fee simple or lesser interest in priority areas, legal fees, appraisals, surveys, or other costs involved in the acquisition of interest in priority areas, and for the development of minimal facilities necessary for the protection of the essential character of priority areas.
Unexpended balances, including any interest derived from the Fund, must be carried forward each year and used only for the purposes provided in this chapter.
No Fund money may be expended to acquire any interest in property by eminent domain nor may the funds be expended to acquire interest in property without a recommendation of the Heritage Trust Advisory Board and the approval of the State Budget and Control Board.
The Wildlife and Marine Resources Commission shall report by letter to the presiding officers of the General Assembly not later than January fifteenth of each year all funds expended pursuant to this chapter for the previous year, including the amount of funds expended and the uses to which the expenditures were applied.
The Trust Fund is eligible to receive appropriations of state general funds, federal funds, donations, gifts, bond issue receipts, securities, and other monetary instruments of value. Any reimbursement for monies expended from this fund must be deposited in this fund. Any funds received through sale, exchange, or otherwise of any Heritage Preserve acquired under this act, or any products of the Preserve such as timber, utility easement rights, and the like, shall accrue to the Fund."
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.