Post Tagged with: "local government fund"

County Council to Address Magistrates Pay Dispute

February 18, 2019 7:27 AM
County Council to Address Magistrates Pay Dispute

Horry County Council will decide tomorrow night whether to resolve a pay dispute between the county magistrates and the county government.

The dispute dates back to the Fiscal Year 2017 budget which began on July 1, 2016. During budget deliberations nearly three years ago, Horry County Council decided to approve a pay raise of 3% for all county employees.

Magistrates are state constitutionally mandated positions appointed by the governor upon the recommendation of the local legislative delegation. However, they are county employees paid for from the county general fund.

The county receives a portion of magistrate pay each year from the local government fund in the state budget. The local government fund is designed to help counties fund state mandated positions.

Historically, the S. C. General Assembly underfunds the local government fund, which is supposed to be funded according to a specific formula.

According to information received by Grand Strand Daily, the General Assembly mandated an approximately three percent pay raise for county magistrates in its FY 2017 budget and raised appropriations in the local government fund to pay for that raise.  

According to state law, counties cannot reduce the amount they pay employees in state mandated positions when the state gives those employees a raise. By not specifically excluding the magistrates from the county raise of three percent for “all county employees,” the magistrates claim they were entitled to both the county and state raises.

However, the magistrates received only the raise mandated by the state. Despite county council budget discussions and votes, the magistrates were excluded from the county pay raise. According to several sources in county government, administrator Chris Eldridge made the final decision to exclude the magistrates from the county pay raise.

The magistrates are asking the county for a retroactive three percent raise and a lump sum check for nearly three years of missed wages.

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SC General Assembly Fails Local Government

June 6, 2015 11:00 AM
SC General Assembly Fails Local Government

It can be argued that the SC General Assembly is at least partially responsible for a large tax increase being considered in Horry County.

There is something called the Local Government Fund that is mandated by state law. It evolved from a group of taxes due to cities and counties collected by the state government.

To simplify the return of this money, the SC General Assembly, in 1991, passed a law that states 4.5 percent of the previous fiscal year’s general fund revenue must be divided between counties (83.3%) and cities (16.7%) based on population.

This Local Government Fund may not be cut below the 4.5% level without separate and specific legislation being passed.

In many years at least since 2000, the SC General Assembly passed an annual legislative exception (separate and specific legislation) to the 4.5% required Local Government Fund.

Why?

Because a significant number of members in both houses of the SC General Assembly hate local government and would like to see Home Rule done away with.

Since the passage of Act 388 of 2006, the SC General Assembly has directly interfered with local governments’ ability to fund local services and has used the annual exceptions to LGF amounts to continue to further restrict local government revenues.

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Last Regular Week for SC General Assembly

June 2, 2015 6:13 AM
Last Regular Week for SC General Assembly

The SC General Assembly meets today to begin its last regular week of this legislative year.

To say this year has been a disappointment in real legislation is an understatement. In fact, this year will be known by what wasn’t accomplished rather than by what was.

An attempt to pass an ethics reform bill hung up on the shoals of the SC Senate. Seems our senators are determined to keep ethics oversight within the Senate Ethics Committee. No independent investigations of conduct of senators are allowed unless the Senate okays it (read Robert Ford).

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SC General Assembly Shortcomings

April 5, 2015 7:00 AM
SC General Assembly Shortcomings

The SC General Assembly won’t be messing with county governments this week because it is on vacation.

However, when the legislators return next week, roads and the local government fund will be tops on the list of issues to be discussed.

As they are currently being handled in Columbia, both issues do nothing more than transfer funding problems to county governments.

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S.C. General Assembly Continues Funding Attacks

March 22, 2015 5:00 AM
S.C. General Assembly Continues Funding Attacks

The S.C. General Assembly continues to move forward with impunity on bills that will cause funding problems for local governments around the state.

H.3374, which deals with the local government fund, has already passed the House and lies in the Senate Finance Committee awaiting action.

The local government fund, now proposed to be renamed the Local Government Revenue Sharing Fund, ostensibly returns a portion of state revenue to counties to help pay for state mandated offices. These include courts, solicitors, magistrates, public defenders, election commission, DSS, county health departments and the like.

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S.C. House to Vote on Local Government Fund

March 3, 2015 8:00 AM
S.C. House to Vote on Local Government Fund

The S.C. House will vote on H.3374 this week, a bill that would severely restrict revenue for the local government fund.

State law, passed in 1991, requires the S.C. General Assembly to return 4.5% of last year’s state general fund revenue to local governments.

However, in many budget years, the S.C. General Assembly has passed a one-year exception to the law allowing it to send back to local governments less than the mandated 4.5%.

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S.C. General Assembly War on Local Government

February 13, 2015 12:04 PM
S.C. General Assembly War on Local Government

The S.C. General Assembly appears to be waging war on local governments based on some of the proposed bills gaining traction in this session.

For an assemblage whose members cry like babies when they perceive the federal government interfering with South Carolina’s own particular definition of state’s rights, the S.C. General Assembly has no compunction when doing exactly the same thing or worse to its local governments.

Hypocrisy thy name is South Carolina legislators.

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S.C. General Assembly Up to Old Tricks

February 10, 2015 6:08 AM
S.C. General Assembly Up to Old Tricks

With pressing needs on infrastructure, education and ethics, the S.C. General Assembly is instead focusing on how to negatively affect local governments.

H3374, which was passed favorably out of a House Ways and Means subcommittee last week, would further shift the costs of providing state services onto the backs of local government. It is expected to be considered in the full House Ways and Means Committee as early as this week.

The bill effectively makes additional cuts to the local government fund, the fund which transfers money from the state to local governments to cover the cost state services at the county levels.

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S.C. House Road Plan Will Accomplish Nothing

January 11, 2015 8:00 AM
S.C. House Road Plan Will Accomplish Nothing

A plan being discussed in the S.C. House to transfer state roads to counties will accomplish nothing in the way of improved maintenance.

Put forward by Rep. Gary Simrill who is chairing the House Transportation, Infrastructure, and Management Ad Hoc Committee, the plan would transfer approximately 50 percent of currently state maintained (or unmaintained as the case may be) roads to county responsibility.

Simrill’s proposal has some talk about fully funding the local government fund and increasing “C” funds, which are a small percentage of state gas tax revenues given back to the counties through County Transportation Committees.

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Local Governments Asking General Assembly to Obey the Law

April 1, 2014 8:00 AM
Local Governments Asking General Assembly to Obey the Law

Counties and municipalities throughout South Carolina are again asking the General Assembly to obey state law with respect to the local government fund in the state’s general fund budget.

State law Section 6-27-30 requires the General Assembly to put 4.5% of the previous year’s base general fund revenue into the local government fund in the upcoming fiscal year budget.

But, the General Assembly has not fully funded the local government fund since 2008 – in violation of state law.

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