(Charleston-AP) March 31, 2004 - A bill has been introduced in the Senate to allow the state-owned utility, Santee Cooper, to keep money from the sale of 1100 acres of land.
The House version of the state budget for the coming year includes $13 million in revenue from the sale of Santee Cooper land. Governor Mark Sanford had suggested the land sale.
Myrtle Beach Senator Luke Rankin wrote the bill to allow the utility to keep the money, rather than send it to the state's general fund. Rankin says sending the money to Columbia would amount to an indirect tax increase for Santee Cooper customers.
Sanford has said Rankin's bill goes against a state law that requires all Santee Cooper earnings not used for business operation or debt reduction to be used to reduce the tax burdens on the people of the state.