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TO ENACT THE "SCHOOL DISTRICT OF DARLINGTON COUNTY SCHOOL BOND PROPERTY TAX RELIEF ACT" WHICH AUTHORIZES THE IMPOSITION OF A ONE PERCENT SALES AND USE TAX WITHIN DARLINGTON COUNTY UPON APPROVAL IN A REFERENDUM TO BE USED FOR SPECIFIED SCHOOL PURPOSES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. This act may be cited as the "School District of Darlington County School Bond Property Tax Relief Act".
SECTION 2. As used in this act, the following terms mean:
(1) "Board" means the Board of Trustees of the school district.
(2) "Bonds" means general obligation bonds of the school district issued to defray the cost of projects, and general obligation bonds, if any, subsequently issued to refund the bonds.
(3) "County" means Darlington County.
(4) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
(5) "Election authorities" means the Darlington County Board of Elections and Registration.
(6) "Projects" means those improvements to be financed through the issuance of the bonds.
(7) "Referendum" means a referendum by which the question of the imposition of the sales and use tax herein authorized is submitted to the qualified electors of the county.
(8) "School district" means the School District of Darlington County.
SECTION 3. Subject to the requirements of this act, the board may impose by resolution a one percent sales and use tax within Darlington County for a specific purpose and for a specified period of time to collect funds to be used to pay debt service on general obligation bonds issued pursuant to Article 1, Chapter 71, Title 59 of the 1976 Code (School Bond Act).
SECTION 4. (A)(1) The board may vote to impose the sales and use tax authorized by this act, subject to a referendum, by enacting a resolution. The resolution must specify:
(a) the projects;
(b) the maximum time, stated in calendar years or calendar quarters, or a combination of them, not to exceed twenty-six years, for which the sales and use tax may be imposed;
(c) the date on which the referendum is held; and
(d) the maximum principal amount of the bonds to be issued and repaid with proceeds of the sales and use tax.
(2) The findings provided in item (1) may be incorporated within a resolution of the board calling for a referendum on the question of the issuance of the bonds.
(B) On receipt of the resolution, the election authorities shall conduct the referendum on the question of imposing the sales and use tax authorized by this act in the county. Notice of the referendum must be provided in the manner provided by the general election law and include the question to be voted on in the referendum. In addition, if the question of the issuance of the bonds also is to be voted on the same date as that of the referendum, publication of notice of the referendum also must be given in compliance with Article 1, Chapter 71, Title 59 of the 1976 Code. Expenses of the referendum must be paid by the school district.
(C) The question to be voted on in the referendum must read substantially as follows:
"Must a special one percent sales and use tax be imposed in Darlington County for not more than twenty-six years in order to raise funds which will be applied to pay debt service on general obligation bonds issued to defray the cost of (list projects) and costs of issuance of such bonds for the School District of Darlington County?
The ballot, in the discretion of the board, may contain a short explanation of the question to be voted on in the referendum.
(D) All qualified electors desiring to vote in favor of imposing the sales and use tax in order to pay debt service on the bonds shall vote "yes" and all qualified electors opposed to levying the sales and use tax in order to pay debt service on the bonds shall vote "no". On receipt of the returns of the referendum, the election authorities, by resolution, shall declare the results of the referendum and shall file the resolution with the Darlington County Clerk of Court. The resolution also must be filed with the department. The results of the referendum, as declared by resolution of the election authorities and as filed with the Darlington County Clerk of Court, is not open to question except by a civil action instituted within twenty days of the filing of the results. If a majority of the votes cast are in favor of imposing the sales and use tax, then the sales and use tax is imposed as provided in this act; otherwise the sales and use tax is not imposed. The referendum on imposition of the sales and use tax authorized in this act may not be held more than once in a period of twelve consecutive months.
SECTION 5. (A) If the sales and use tax is approved in the referendum, the sales and use tax must be imposed beginning on the first day of the third full month following the filing of the declaration of results of the referendum with the department.
(B) The sales and use tax terminates:
(1) on the final day of the maximum time specified in the question to be voted on in the referendum for the imposition; or
(2) if earlier, but not if later, on payment of the final maturing installments of principal of the bonds, or on payment of the final maturing installments of principal of general obligation bonds issued to refund the bonds.
SECTION 6. (A) The sales and use tax levied pursuant to this act must be administered and collected by the department in the same manner that other sales and use taxes are collected. The department may prescribe the amounts which may be added to the sales price because of the sales and use tax.
(B) The sales and use tax authorized by this act is in addition to all other local sales and use taxes and applies to the gross proceeds of the sales in the applicable jurisdiction which are subject to the tax imposed by Chapter 36, Title 12 of the 1976 Code, and the collection and enforcement provisions of Chapter 54, Title 12 of the 1976 Code. The gross proceeds of the sale of items subject to a maximum tax in Chapter 36, Title 12 of the 1976 Code, are exempt from the tax imposed by this act. The gross proceeds of the sale of food which lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food stamps, and the gross proceeds of the sale of prescription medicines and medical devices are exempt from the tax imposed by this act. The tax imposed by this act also applies to tangible personal property subject to the use tax in Article 13, Chapter 36, Title 12 of the 1976 Code.
(C) Taxpayers required to remit taxes under Article 13, Chapter 36, Title 12 of the 1976 Code, shall identify the county in which the tangible personal property purchased at retail is stored, used, or consumed in this State.
(D) Utilities are required to report sales in the county in which consumption of the tangible personal property occurs.
(E) A taxpayer subject to the tax imposed by Section 12-36-920 of the 1976 Code, who owns or manages rental units in more than one county shall report separately in his sales tax return the total gross proceeds from business done in each county.
(F) The gross proceeds of sales of tangible personal property delivered after the imposition date of the tax levied under this act in the county, either under the terms of a construction contract executed before the imposition date, or a written bid submitted before the imposition date, culminating in a construction contract entered into before or after the imposition date, are exempt from the sales and use tax provided in this act if a verified copy of the contract is filed with the department within six months after the imposition of the sales and use tax.
(G) Notwithstanding the imposition date of the tax authorized pursuant to this act, with respect to services that are billed regularly on a monthly basis, the sales and use tax provided in this act is imposed beginning on the first day of the billing period beginning on or after the imposition date.
SECTION 7. (A) The revenues of the sales and use tax collected in the county under this act must be remitted to the State Treasurer and credited to a fund separate and distinct from the general fund of the State. After deducting the amount of refunds made and costs to the department of administering the sales and use tax, not to exceed one percent of the revenues, the State Treasurer shall distribute the revenues quarterly to the Darlington County Treasurer who shall hold the debt-service funds established for payment of principal and interest on the bonds. The State Treasurer may correct misallocation costs or refunds by adjusting subsequent distributions, but these adjustments must be made in the same fiscal year as the misallocation.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in this act, the Darlington County Treasurer shall deposit all revenues from the sales and use taxes provided in this act that are remitted to the Darlington County Treasurer by the department into the applicable debt service funds for the bonds, and shall certify to the Darlington County Auditor by August fifteenth of each calendar year the amount of sales and use taxes provided in this act and other monies that are held by the Darlington County Treasurer in such debt service funds as of August tenth of the calendar year. The Darlington County Auditor shall reduce the next levy of ad valorem property taxes required to pay debt service on the bonds by the amount of the tax revenues certified as collected as of August tenth by the Darlington County Treasurer plus any other monies deposited in the applicable debt service funds for the bonds. Sales and use taxes provided in this act that are collected as of August tenth of a calendar year in excess of the amounts required to pay debt service due on the bonds in the eighteen months following August tenth must be retained by the Darlington County Treasurer and applied to debt service on the bonds in subsequent years or to the early redemption of bonds, in whole or in part, as determined by the board. At the time the Darlington County Treasurer has on deposit revenues sufficient, without investment, to pay all remaining principal of and interest on the bonds, the bonds must be deemed paid for purposes of this act, and the Darlington County Treasurer shall notify the school district and the department, and the imposition of the tax must be terminated as provided in Section 5(B) of this act. Any taxes subsequently distributed to the Darlington County Treasurer must be applied to debt service on additional general obligation bonds of the school district or to the cost of operation and maintenance of the school district, as determined by the board.
SECTION 8. The department shall furnish data to the State Treasurer and to the school districts for the purpose of calculating distributions and estimating revenues. The information which must be supplied to the school district upon request includes, but is not limited to, gross receipts, net taxable sales, and tax liability by taxpayers. Information about a specific taxpayer is considered confidential and is governed by the provisions of Section 12-54-240 of the 1976 Code. A person violating this section is subject to the penalties provided in Section 12-54-240 of the 1976 Code.
SECTION 9. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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