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School bond and tax elections in South Carolina

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School bond and tax elections in South Carolina happen under two circumstances:
  • To issue new bonds.
  • To exceed the state mandated 15-mill levy limit.

Laws affecting school finance

South Carolina bond issue law

South Carolina, like Nevada structures its school boards at the county level and not by municipality.[1] The County Board of Education is required to have a ballot question for the voters of the school district to issue new bonds under South Carolina Law.[2][3]

Under the law, all bonds must be sold at normal par value and have a mandatory, maximum maturity date of 25 years.[4] The first maturity for the bonds is three years after the date that the bonds were issued.

School bonds in South Carolina can be used for capital improvements, which include building new facilities, improving existing facilities and facility acquisition.[5]

South Carolina levy law

Under South Carolina law, school districts are required to hold levy elections if a school district exceeds the 15-mill limit.[6] South Carolina is one of three states that expresses levy formulas using the basic mill rate formula over a lengthy formula.

Rules of election, conduct, etc

Authority conducting elections

The local County elections commission is responsible for holding school bond elections.[7]

Election dates

There are no restrictions in South Carolina on when an election involving school bonds or school levy caps can be held.[8] However, a bill introduced in the S.C. House in January 2011, H. 3186,[9] would require that any school bond referendum or special election to be held on a primary or general election day.[10]

Needed majority

Only a simple majority is required to pass a ballot measure involving bond issues or exceeding the levy limit.[11]

Special elections

All referendums in South Carolina, regardless when its scheduled, are considered to be special elections.[12]

Wording of measures

There are no restrictions under South Carolina law for how ballot questions should be worded, but a explanation of the ballot question must be submitted when disclosing the question to the media by the 45-day media release mandate.[13]

Required notice of bond election

A minimum of 15 days public notice is required for bond elections in South Carolina while 14 days is required for levy elections.[14][15] There is no mandatory elapse requirement for school districts in South Carolina from when they approve a resolution to the date of the election.

However, the language of the ballot question must be submitted to the local media 45 days before the election.[16]

See also

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