HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Several new laws take effect on New Year’s Day, and some of them include changes that affect boat owners and electric cooperatives in South Carolina, according to the Associated Press.
Horry Electric Cooperative members could see more transparency
1.5 million homeowners in the state will be affected by one of the new laws that will better regulate electric cooperatives, like Horry Electric Cooperative.
The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina Executive Vice President Lou Green tells News13 the new law’s requirements are intended to increase transparency, meaning the SC Office of Regulatory Staff will check to be sure that the co-op is providing data that is required, like board member compensation, expenses paid and notifications and minutes of board meetings.
Green also went on to say that the audit (“examination” is the ORS preferred term) is not a financial audit but rather an examination of whether the co-op is following the law and its bylaws.
The law will give more authority to the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff to audit the electric cooperatives that serve customers in 46 counties.
Calhoun County Democratic Representative Russell Ott was the bill’s lead sponsor, and says before this law was enacted, no one was there to essentially be a watchdog for the ratepayer.
The gas tax refund is implemented again this year
The gas tax refund enacted in 2017, is also implemented this year, and allows South Carolinians to get a small portion of the money they spent at the pump, when they file their 2019 taxes.
State officials recommend saving your receipts and use the I-385 tax form to claim the refund. Taxpayers can claim a credit for up to two qualifying cars.
The average savings this past tax season was more than $24 per return.
Boat owners will see changes to registration
If you’re a South Carolina boat owner, one of the new laws taking effect Wednesday brings changes to how you register your boat.
With the new law, you must register your boat every year for $10, instead of registering it every three years for $30.
You will also get a new registration number from SCDNR every year.