South Carolina - Acts on Education Topics

An Act to Provide for the Ascertainment and Payment of the Valid Past School Indebtedness of the County of Georgetown and to Authorize the Levy and Collection of a Special Tax Therefor.

December 20, 1888

Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of South Carolina 1888, Pages 172-174.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, now met and sitting in General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That it shall be the duty of the Governor, as soon as practicable after the passage of this Act, to appoint three reputable and disinterested citizens of Georgetown County, residents of the town of Georgetown, who shall constitute a commission to investigate the past school indebtedness of said County.

Sec. 2. Within a convenient time after their appointment, said commission shall organize by the election of a Chairman and a Secretary from among their number, and after being sworn, before some officer qualified by law to administer oaths, to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties imposed upon them by this Act, shall proceed to the performance of the same.

Sec. 3. Immediately after their organization the said commission shall publish in one or more newspapers of said County, for a period of thirty days, a notice requiring all persons holding school claims against the said County issued prior to the scholastic year 1886-7 to present the same within sixty days from the date of such notice to the said commission for examination; and all school claims by whomsoever held which shall not be presented for such examination before the expiration of said sixty days shall be forever thereafter debarred payment.

Sec. 4. For the purpose of conducting their investigation, the said commission shall have power to summon witnesses and examine them under oath, and to inspect the books, records, and papers of the County Treasurer's and County School Commissioner's offices; and said officers may be compelled to produce said books, records, and papers before said commission, and to testify as to the same, or as to any other matter connected with the validity of said past due school claims.

Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of said commission to keep a record of their proceedings; and, in addition thereto, they shall provide a book suitably ruled and bound, in which shall be entered in their appropriate columns the date, number, and amount of each school claim found valid by them, the name of the person to whom it was issued, the name of the person presenting the same for examination, the number of the school district for which the same was issued, and the date of its approval by said commission. They shall keep, in a similar book, or in a separate part of the same book, a similar record of all claims rejected by them as invalid, illegal, or worthless, with the date of their rejection.

Sec. 6. That as soon as they shall have completed such investigation, the said commission shall file in the offices of the School Commissioner and the County Treasurer a certified statement, under their hands and seals, of the claims approved by them, designating each claim in the manner provided in Section 5 of this Act, and a similar statement of the rejected claims. And it shall be unlawful for the School Commissioner to approve, or for the County Treasurer to pay, any of the claims so rejected by said commission. At the same time they shall file with the County Commissioners a condensed statement showing the total amount of the claims approved by them: Provided, That the said commission shall not approve any school claim which may appear to their satisfaction to have been issued by the trustees of any school district in excess of the funds apportioned to such district, according to law, for the scholastic year in which the same may have been issued.

Sec. 7. Upon the completion of their work, the commission shall deposit in the office of the Clerk of Court for said County the minutes of their proceedings and the records of approved and rejected claims required by Section 5.

Sec. 8. The members of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services, except the Secretary, to whom there shall be paid by the County Commissioners of said County, upon the order of the Chairman of said commission, the sum of twenty-five dollars.

Sec. 9. The actual expenses of said commission for postage, stationery, and advertising, to an amount not exceeding thirty-five dollars, shall also be paid by the County Commissioners, upon the order of the Chairman: Provided, That a sworn statement of the same, showing each item of expenditure, shall first be filed with the said County Commissioners.

Sec. 10. That as soon as the total amount of the valid past school indebtedness of the County shall have been ascertained and reported to the County Commissioners as herein provided, the said County Commissioners shall be, and they are hereby, authorized and required, if possible, to borrow a sum of money sufficient to pay the same and the expenses of said investigation, including the Secretary's salary, which sum shall be deposited with the County Treasurer and disbursed by him to the holders of the approved claims certified to him by the Commission: Provided, That not more than seven per cent, interest shall be paid on said loan by the County Commissioners.

Sec. 11. That for the purpose of repaying said loan a tax of three-fourths (3/4) of one mill shall be, and the same is hereby, levied or all the taxable property in said County, to be collected at the same time and in the same manner as the ordinary State and County taxes for the fiscal year 1888-9; and the County Commissioners of said County are authorized and required to levy, and the Treasurer of said County to collect, for the fiscal year commencing November 1st, 1889. a tax of three-fourths (3/4) of one mill upon all the real and personal property therein to pay the balance of said loan, with the interest thereon, remaining due and unpaid after the application thereto of the proceeds of the first of said levies. The said County Commissioners shall have the right to pledge the proceeds of the tax levies herein provided for as security for the repayment of said loan and interest: Provided, That if the said County Commissioners shall fail to negotiate said loan, the taxes herein provided for shall nevertheless be collected at the times and in the manner above mentioned, and the proceeds thereof shall be applied pro rata to the payment of the past due school claims certified by said commission: Provided, further, That any surplus which may remain after paying said claims and the expenses of said investigation shall be covered into the County Treasury and used for ordinary County purposes.

Sec. 12. That this Act shall go into effect immediately after its approval.

Approved December 20th, A.D. 1888.

John P. Richardson, Governor.
William L. Mauldin, President of the Senate and Lt. Governor.
James Simons, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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