Hilton Head Island
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Section 6-4-5. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
Section 6-4-10. Allocation to general fund; special fund for tourism; management and use of special fund.
The funds received by a municipality or a county in county areas collecting more than fifty thousand dollars from the local accommodations tax provided in Section 12-36-2630(3) must be allocated in the following manner:
(1) The first twenty-five thousand dollars must be allocated to the general fund of the municipality or county and is exempt from all other requirements of this chapter.
(2) Five percent of the balance must be allocated to the general fund of the municipality or county and is exempt from all other requirements of this chapter.
(3) Thirty percent of the balance must be allocated to a special fund and used for advertising and promotion of tourism to develop and increase tourist attendance through the generation of publicity. To manage and direct the expenditure of these tourism promotion funds, the municipality or county shall select one or more organizations, such as a chamber of commerce, visitor and convention bureau, or regional tourism commission, which has an existing, ongoing tourist promotion program. If no organization exists the municipality or county shall create an organization with the same membership standard in Section 6-4-25. To be eligible for selection the organization must be organized as a nonprofit organization and shall demonstrate to the municipality or county that it has an existing, ongoing tourism promotion program or that it can develop an effective tourism promotion program. Immediately upon an allocation to the special fund, a municipality or county shall distribute the tourism promotion funds to the organizations selected or created to receive them. Before the beginning of each fiscal year, an organization receiving funds from the accommodations tax from a municipality or county shall submit for approval a budget of planned expenditures. At the end of each fiscal year, an organization receiving funds shall render an accounting of the expenditure to the municipality or county which distributed them.
(4)(a) The remaining balance plus earned interest received by a municipality or county must be allocated to a special fund and used for tourism-related expenditures. This section does not prohibit a municipality or county from using accommodations tax general fund revenues for tourism-related expenditures.
(b) The funds received by a county or municipality which has a high concentration of tourism activity may be used to provide additional county and municipal services including, but not limited to, law enforcement, traffic control, public facilities, and highway and street maintenance, as well as the continual promotion of tourism. The funds must not be used as an additional source of revenue to provide services normally provided by the county or municipality but to promote tourism and enlarge its economic benefits through advertising, promotion, and providing those facilities and services which enhance the ability of the county or municipality to attract and provide for tourists.
"Tourism-related expenditures" include:
(c) Allocations to the special fund must be spent by the municipality or county within two years of receipt. If the allocations are not spent within two years, the municipality or county is subject to the provisions of Section 6-4-30(6). However, the time limit may be extended upon the recommendation of the county or municipality and approval of the South Carolina Accommodations Tax Oversight Committee in Section 6-4-30. An extension must include provisions that funds be committed for a specific project or program.
(d) In the expenditure of these funds, counties and municipalities are required to promote tourism and make tourism-related expenditures primarily in the geographical areas of the county or municipality in which the proceeds of the tax are collected where it is practical.
Section 6-4-15. Use of revenues to finance bonds.
A municipality or county may issue bonds, enter into other financial obligations, or create reserves to secure obligations to finance all or a portion of the cost of constructing facilities for civic activities, the arts, and cultural events which fulfill the purpose of this chapter. The annual debt service of indebtedness incurred to finance the facilities or lease payments for the use of the facilities may be provided from the funds received by a municipality or county from the accommodations tax in an amount not to exceed the amount received by the municipality or county after deduction of the accommodations tax funds dedicated to the general fund and the advertising and promotion fund. However, none of the revenue received by a municipality or county from the accommodations tax may be used to retire outstanding bonded indebtedness unless accommodations tax revenue was obligated for that purpose when the debt was incurred.
Section 6-4-20. Administration account established; State Treasurerâ€™s duties; distribution of account revenues; exceptions to tourism spending mandate.
Section 6-4-25. Advisory Committee; guidelines for expenditures; annual reports; reports to Accommodations Tax Oversight Committee.
Section 6-4-30. Repealed by 2003 Act No. 96, Section 3.MM, eff June 18, 2003.
Section 6-4-35. Tourism Expenditure Review Committee.
(A) There is established the Tourism Expenditure Review Committee consisting of eleven members as follows:
Appointed members shall serve for terms of four years and until their successors are appointed and qualify, except that of those first appointed by the Governor, four shall serve for a term of two years and the term must be noted on the appointment. Regardless of the date of appointment, all terms expire July first of the applicable year. Members shall serve without compensation but may receive the mileage, subsistence, and per diem allowed by law for members of state boards, committees, and commissions. Vacancies must be filled in the manner of original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term.
(B)(1)(a) The Tourism Expenditure Review Committee shall serve as the oversight authority on all questionable tourism-related expenditures and to that end, all reports filed pursuant to Section 6-4-25(D)(3) must be forwarded to the committee for review to determine if they are in compliance with this chapter. The municipality or county must be notified if an expenditure is questioned, and the committee may consider any further supporting information the municipality or county may provide. If the committee finds an expenditure to be in noncompliance, it shall certify the noncompliance to the State Treasurer, who shall withhold the amount of the expenditure found in noncompliance from subsequent distributions in accommodations tax revenue otherwise due the municipality or county. An appeal from an action of the committee under this subitem lies with the Administrative Law Judge Division.
(b) If the committee determines that a municipality or county has failed to file the reports required pursuant to Section 6-4-25(D)(3), it may impose a fee of five hundred dollars a month or part of a month for each month the report is not filed, but not more than five thousand dollars. The committee shall certify the penalty to the State Treasurer, who shall withhold the amount of the penalty from subsequent distributions otherwise due the municipality or county. An appeal from an action of the committee under this subitem lies with the Administrative Law Judge Division.
(c) Allocations withheld must be reallocated proportionately to all other recipients.
(2) The committee has jurisdiction to investigate and research facts on written complaints submitted to it with regard to the appropriate tourism-related expenditures and resolve these complaints as provided in item (1) of this subsection.
(3) The committee shall forward copies of information submitted by the local governments and regional tourism agencies pursuant to Section 6-4-25 arising under the tourism provisions of this chapter to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, which shall publish an annual report on the information submitted.
Title 6, Chapter 4