Mark Clark Making Moves

Last week, the Joint Bond Review (JBR) Subcommittee heard testimony from Charleston County on their funding model for completion of the Mark Clark.

The County’s portion of the funding will come from the half cent sales tax, Charleston Area Transportation Study (CHATS) funding and potentially federal funds. The county’s financial advisor, Walter Goldsmith of First Tryon Securities, made clear that even his most conservative projections for future sales tax revenues would still leave the county with plenty of funds available to cover the estimated $305 million to complete the Mark Clark and still fund their other committed road projects.

The subcommittee members were impressed by Charleston County’s presentation, but they didn’t have time to vote. The Senate Finance Committee had a time-sensitive meeting scheduled in the same room. With the crossover deadline this week, the House on furlough next week and the Senate debating the budget on the floor the following week after that, we expect the JBR Subcommittee meeting to take place the week of April 22.

This Wednesday was the General Assembly’s crossover deadline. A bill that hasn’t passed either the House or Senate by the crossover deadline is pretty much dead for the year. Because 2019 is the first year of a two-year legislative session, bills that made progress before crossover are still alive for 2020.  

Several of the Charleston Metro Chamber’s top priority bills made the crossover deadline, including:

  • The Angel Investor bill made it out of the House prior to the crossover deadline. A House subcommittee will consider changes made in the Senate’s version of the bill. We expect a a favorable report after lawmakers return to Columbia following Easter.
  • The Senate’s Port Tax Credit legislation advanced ahead of the crossover deadline. The Port Tax Credit expands the amount of available tax credits for cargo and creates incentives for companies in certain counties that use the Charleston Port. The bill now moves to the House.
  • The Affordable Housing Tax Credit bill passed the House before the crossover deadline. The bill allows taxpayers eligible for federal low-income housing tax credit to also claim a state tax credit. It also allows banks and insurance companies to invest in workforce housing developments in S.C. The legislation now moves to the Senate.

As always, we will keep you up-to-date as Chamber priorities move in the General Assembly.

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