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A251, R258, S1061
Sponsors: Senators Gregory, Grooms, Courson, Drummond, Richardson, Campsen, Ryberg, Land, Hutto, Setzler, Hayes, Sheheen, Lourie and Verdin
Document Path: l:\council\bills\agm\18042mm06.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 4430
Introduced in the Senate on January 18, 2006
Introduced in the House on February 7, 2006
Last Amended on March 16, 2006
Passed by the General Assembly on March 16, 2006
Governor's Action: March 28, 2006, Signed
Summary: Heritage Trust Program
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1/18/2006 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-8 1/18/2006 Senate Referred to Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry SJ-8 2/1/2006 Senate Committee report: Favorable Fish, Game and Forestry SJ-42 2/2/2006 Senate Read second time SJ-7 2/2/2006 Senate Unanimous consent for third reading on next legislative day SJ-7 2/2/2006 Scrivener's error corrected 2/3/2006 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-4 2/7/2006 House Introduced and read first time HJ-6 2/7/2006 House Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs HJ-6 2/16/2006 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs HJ-2 2/22/2006 House Amended HJ-17 2/22/2006 House Debate adjourned HJ-25 2/22/2006 House Debate adjourned HJ-44 2/22/2006 House Amended HJ-48 2/22/2006 House Debate adjourned until Thursday, February 23, 2006 HJ-48 2/23/2006 House Amended HJ-16 2/23/2006 House Read second time HJ-16 2/28/2006 House Read third time and returned to Senate with amendments HJ-10 3/2/2006 Senate House amendment amended SJ-29 3/2/2006 Senate Returned to House with amendments SJ-29 3/3/2006 Scrivener's error corrected 3/8/2006 House Non-concurrence in Senate amendment HJ-26 3/8/2006 Senate Senate insists upon amendment and conference committee appointed Gregory, Sheheen, and Campsen SJ-25 3/9/2006 House Conference committee appointed Reps. MA Pitts, Frye, and Hardwick HJ-1 3/15/2006 Senate Conference report adopted SJ-35 3/16/2006 House Conference report received and adopted HJ-2 3/16/2006 House Ordered enrolled for ratification HJ-8 3/23/2006 Ratified R 258 3/28/2006 Signed By Governor 3/29/2006 Copies available 3/29/2006 Effective date 03/28/06 4/5/2006 Act No. 251
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A251, R258, S1061)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY REDESIGNATING SECTIONS 51-17-10 THROUGH 51-17-150 AS ARTICLE 1 OF CHAPTER 17, TITLE 51, ENTITLED "HERITAGE TRUST PROGRAM", AND BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 17, TITLE 51 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR BONDING AUTHORITY IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR LAND ACQUISITION, RESTORATION, IMPROVEMENT, AND MANAGEMENT OF PROPERTIES FOR INCLUSION IN THE HERITAGE TRUST PROGRAM; AND BY ADDING SECTION 51-17-85 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR RESTRICTIONS ON DISPOSITION OF TRUST PROPERTY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Heritage Trust Program
SECTION 1. Sections 51-17-10 through 51-17-150 of the 1976 Code are redesignated as:
Heritage Trust Revenue Bonds
SECTION 2. A. (A) The General Assembly finds that it is desirable to provide continuing and general statutory authority for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to incur debt for the purpose of acquiring, restoring, improving, and managing certain Heritage Preserves as a part of The Heritage Trust Program, which debt is secured by a pledge of the revenues derived from a portion of the state deed recording fee dedicated to the Heritage Land Trust Fund pursuant to Article 24 of Title 12 of the 1976 Code. As trustee of the South Carolina Heritage Trust and administrators of the Heritage Land Trust Fund, the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has demonstrated a need for additional funds to provide for acquisition, restoration, improvement, and management of properties that qualify for inclusion in the Heritage Trust Program and preservation for the benefit of present and future residents of the State of South Carolina.
(B) The General Assembly further finds that it is in the best interests of the people of this State to authorize the board of the Department of Natural Resources, in its role as the trustee of the South Carolina Heritage Trust, acting through and in accordance with the terms of the Heritage Trust Program, to acquire, restore, improve, and manage additional properties suitable for inclusion in the Heritage Trust Program and to incur indebtedness for these purposes which is payable from the revenues derived from that portion of the state deed recording fee dedicated to the Heritage Land Trust Fund pursuant to Article 24 of Title 12 of the 1976 Code as provided in Article 3.
B. Chapter 17 of Title 51 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 51-17-310. As used in this article:
(1) 'Board' means the governing board of the Department of Natural Resources which serves as the trustees of the South Carolina Heritage Trust.
(2) 'Bond' or 'bonds' means a note, bond, installment contract, or other evidence of indebtedness issued pursuant to this article.
(3) 'Bond Reserve Fund' means the special fund that may be established by the board pursuant to this article, which must be in the custody of the State Treasurer or a corporate trust department of a financial institution selected by the State Treasurer and which is established primarily for the purpose of providing a reserve with which to meet the payment of the principal of and interest on bonds if payments otherwise required from the debt service fund are insufficient to meet the payment of the principal and interest as and when they are due and payable.
(4) 'Department' means the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
(5) 'Heritage Land Trust Fund' means the fund established and administered pursuant to Section 51-17-115 of the 1976 Code.
(6) 'Heritage Land Trust portion of the state deed recording fee' means that portion of the state deed recording fee credited to the Heritage Land Trust Fund pursuant to Section 12-24-90(B)(1) of the 1976 Code.
(7) 'Heritage Preserve' has the meaning provided in Section 51-17-10(7) of the 1976 Code.
(8) 'The Heritage Trust Program' has the meaning provided in Section 51-17-10(12) of the 1976 Code.
(9) 'State' or 'this State' means the State of South Carolina.
(10) 'State deed recording fee' means that portion of the deed recording fee imposed by Chapter 24 of Title 12 of the 1976 Code designated as the 'state fee' in Section 12-24-90 of the 1976 Code.
(11) 'State Treasurer' means the State Treasurer of South Carolina.
(12) 'Trustees' means the trustee of the South Carolina Heritage Trust which is the board of the Department of Natural Resources.
Section 51-17-320. (A) The board may issue bonds in the name of the trustees for the purposes and in the manner provided in this section. The title of the bonds shall be designated by the board acting as the trustees.
(B) All bonds must be secured by and payable from only the Heritage Land Trust portion of the state deed recording fee, or that portion as the board determines to pledge for payment.
(C) The trustees or a person executing the bonds or notes are not liable personally on the bonds or notes and are not subject to personal liability or accountability by reason of the issuance of the bonds.
(D) The board acting as the trustees may not pledge the faith, credit, or taxing power of this State or its political subdivisions in connection with the issuance of the bonds, and each bond must recite on its face that it is a special source bond of the trustees issued pursuant to and in accordance with this article and Article X, Section 13(9) of the Constitution of this State, that it is secured by and payable from only the Heritage Land Trust portion of the state deed recording fee, that it is neither a general, legal, nor moral obligation of the State or its political subdivisions, and that it is not backed by the full faith, credit, or taxing power of this State or any of its political subdivisions. Failure to include this language on the face of a bond does not cause the bond to become a general, legal, or moral obligation of the State or its political subdivisions or a pledge of the full faith, credit, or taxing power of this State or its political subdivisions.
(E) A pledge of the Heritage Land Trust portion of the state deed recording fee made by the board acting as the trustees is valid and binding from the time the pledge is made. The trust portion of the state deed recording fee received by the Heritage Land Trust Fund is immediately subject to the lien of the pledge without physical delivery of the receipt or further act. The lien of the pledge is valid and binding against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract, or otherwise against the trustees, whether or not the parties have notice of them. The resolution of the board or other instrument by which a pledge is created must not be recorded or filed to perfect the pledge. In the resolution of the board authorizing the issuance of a bond pursuant to this article, the board shall provide for the priority of payment of the bond from all monies received by the Heritage Land Trust Fund as its portion of the state deed recording fee.
(F) The trustees may not issue a bond with a scheduled maturity later than thirty years after the date of issuance.
(G) When issuing bonds for the purpose described in this article, the trustees may sell bonds either in a negotiated transaction with one or more lead underwriters selected by the board acting as the trustees on the basis of criteria established by the board acting as the trustees, or through a competitive bidding process in accordance with procedures established by the board. The determination of whether to sell bonds through negotiation or through competitive bidding must be made by the board.
(H) The trustees may not issue a bond unless the board has first adopted its resolution authorizing the issuance, finding that the issuance and the proposed use of the bond proceeds is in accordance with this chapter, and setting out the terms and conditions of the bond and the covenants of the trustees with respect to the bond. These terms must include the issuance date or dates, the maturity date or dates, the principal amount, the interest rate or the means of determining it, whether fixed or variable, the time, manner, and currency for paying interest and principal, the negotiability of the bond, and restrictions relating to the registration of the bond. The covenants may include, without limitation, the establishment and maintenance of dedicated reserve funds for the payment of debt service on a bond if the Heritage Land Trust portion of the state deed recording fee is inadequate in any year, restrictions on the later issuance of additional bonds or making the later issuance subject to certain conditions relating to available debt service coverage or otherwise, or other matter that the board considers appropriate, subject to subsection (I) of this section. A bond of the trustees must be approved also by the State Budget and Control Board, after review by the Joint Bond Review Committee pursuant to Section 2-47-30 of the 1976 Code, before it is delivered.
(I) The board may not authorize or cause the trustees to enter into a covenant that purports to create a general, legal, or moral obligation of this State or its political subdivisions or to pledge the full faith, credit, or taxing power of the State or its political subdivisions. A covenant in violation of this subsection is void and of no effect.
(J) Subject to the requirements of this section, the board acting as the trustees may authorize the issuance of bonds of the trustees for the purpose of:
(1) refunding, on a current or advance-refunding basis, outstanding bonds of the trustees; or
(2) obtaining funds for delivery to the Heritage Land Trust Fund. Proceeds of bonds issued for this purpose must be delivered promptly to the Heritage Land Trust Fund and used only for the purposes provided in Section 51-17-115 of the 1976 Code, except as needed to defray the costs of issuance of the bonds or to establish a reserve fund for the bonds.
(K) The bonds and the issuance of the bonds pursuant to this article are subject to the provisions of Sections 11-15-20 and 11-15-30 of the 1976 Code and any successor provisions.
Section 51-17-330. (A) A bond provided for in this article and the income from a bond is exempt from all taxation in the State except for inheritance, estate, or transfer taxes, regardless of the federal income tax treatment of the interest from the bond.
(B) The exercise of the powers granted by this chapter is in all respects for the benefit of the citizens of the State and for the promotion of their welfare, convenience, and prosperity. Property, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, of the department or the trustees and the income and operations of the department and the Heritage Trust Program are exempt from taxation or assessment by the State or its political subdivisions.
(C) It is lawful for executors, administrators, guardians, committees, and other fiduciaries to invest monies in their hands in a bond provided for in this article. This section does not relieve a person from the duty of exercising reasonable care in selecting investments.
Section 51-17-340. The State pledges and agrees with the trustees, and the holders of the bonds in which the trustees have included the pledge and agreement, that the State may not limit or alter the rights of the trustees to fulfill the terms of its agreements with the holders, and may not impair the rights and remedies of the holders or the security for the bonds until the bonds, together with the interest on them and all costs and expenses in connection with any action or proceeding by or on behalf of the holders, are fully paid and discharged. While bonds issued pursuant to the authorizations contained in this article are outstanding, the State shall impose and maintain the state deed recording fee and the Heritage Land Trust portion of the state deed recording fee at a rate sufficient to produce all revenues to discharge all covenants, agreements, and obligations of the department and the trustees with respect to the bonds.
Section 51-17-350. In each year that bonds issued pursuant to this article are outstanding, the trustees, not later than December 1 of such year, shall submit a written report to the State Budget and Control Board as to whether, based on revenues of the Heritage Land Trust portion of the state deed recording fee received by the Heritage Land Trust Fund as of July 1 of that year, the revenues are projected to be sufficient to discharge all covenants, agreements, and obligations of the department and the trustees with respect to all outstanding bonds in the calendar year immediately following.
Section 51-17-360. The authority to issue Heritage Trust Revenue Bonds under this article shall expire two years after the effective date of this article; provided, however, this two-year limitation does not apply to bonds issued to retire bond anticipation notes, bonds issued to refund any bonds issued hereunder, and any bonds issued before this two-year limitation takes effect shall continue in full force and effect as provided in this article."
Disposition of trust property
SECTION 3. Chapter 17, Title 51 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 51-17-85. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board may not dispose of any Heritage Trust property if otherwise permitted to do so unless there are restrictions sufficient to protect all of the natural and cultural characteristics of the property."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 23rd day of March, 2006.
Approved the 28th day of March, 2006.
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