Watch: Council Members Discuss Penny Tax Program

Richland County, S.C. (WOLO) — Its been more than 4 months since the Department of Revenue reported findings of potential fraud, waste and abuse associated with Richland County’s penny tax program.

Council members tell ABC Columbia, since then its been a constant back and forth with the DOR trying to put a plan in place and get the penny program back on track.

The DOR’s core concern is ensuring that penny revenue is being spent on specific penny projects and not program management.
But this is the primary problem for the Richland County Council.

Councilman Jim Manning explains, “If there were no projects there would be no program management so we’re not seeing how there’s a clear difference.”

According to multiple council members, exhaustive efforts have been made to resolve all problems outlined by the department, the lingering issue is one they hope to reconcile at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“Either DOR is at the point where they’re accepting of the plan we’ve been working on together and if not then I think we’ll be pushing the issue as to what by what legal authority do they have to be making us do something really different than what was presented to the voters and voters approved,” says Manning.

A difference that would cost Richland taxpayers an estimated $3.2 million annually.

In a letter DOR director Rick Reames says without the reform penny revenues will remain frozen.

Councilman Seth Rose tells ABC Columbia, “That puts us in a situation where people who are wanting to ride the bus eventually the bus system could shut down contracts could be paid out there could be lawsuits and thats going to cost the taxpayer a lot more money if that happens.”

Categories: Local News, News, Richland