Money to local governments may again fall short

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina legislators probably will again not fund local governments at levels required by state law.

The House budget-writing committee voted Tuesday to again suspend a 1991 law requiring that local governments receive 4.5% of the previous year's state tax collections.

Legislators have not followed that law since 2008, when the local government fund reached $280 million.

A House panel is studying how to change the law to better reflect current economic conditions.

Democratic Rep. Harry Ott of St. Matthews says the state needs to fulfill its obligations. But Republican Rep. Jim Merrill of Daniel Island says it makes no sense to the formula on past revenues rather than future projections.

The study panel is also reviewing how much it would take to cover state mandates on counties.

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