The Richland County Council approved for $1 million from its general fund to be transferred to a penny sales tax pool that is slated for transportation projects to begin reimbursement of what the SC DOR and state Supreme Court said was improper spending. With the council’s promise to continue the payments “until the transportation fund is completely reimbursed,” there is up to $3.4 million in penny tax spending under consideration. At issue are $25,000 per month paid to two public relations firms, a Small Local Business Enterprise project, a mentor-mentee program and attorney’s fees. With the county’s general funds now going toward the penny tax collection, that means Richland property tax payers are supporting the transportation projects intended to be paid for via sales tax. The council also authorized an independent audit of all the transportation program’s spending since its 2012 inception. SLED has conducted an investigation of the penny tax operations, but there have been no charges filed.
Advisory firm Elliott Davis has announced that its downtown Greenville corporate headquarters will move from its East Broad Street location to three floors in the Falls Tower building of the Camperdown development expansion in November 2020, a year that also represents the company’s centennial. The 435 South Main Street location will offer 60,000 feet of office space on floors four through six featuring an open space working environment, with an additional community engagement space on the ground floor. “Our people believe in Greenville. We hope this space will help us attract the kind of talent that believes in our core values and helps us be a vital part of Greenville,” said CEO Rick Davis, CPA. Elliott Davis, which opened its Greenville office in 1925, is a SCACPA 100% Firm.
Visitors to about Charleston County bought more than 4.6 million overnight stays in hotel rooms in 2018, a rise of 2.3% over the previous year, according to a College of Charleston tourism analysis. The occupancy rate, which has been rising since 2010, was at 75.2% and represents only the second year other than 2015 when it fell. Weather played a major factor on tourism, with January’s winter storm and September’s seven-day mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Florence. The small dip is a reflection that the area is adopting to the large number of new hotels in the market; for each month on average, the area had nearly 650 more rooms compared year to year.
A pair who had worked as a senior clinical adviser and a senior VP of data reporting at the S.C. Early Autism Project have agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges from their actions to defraud government-backed insurers of $12 million. The Sumter residents have signed guilty plea agreements to making false statements to Medicaid. According to court documents, the government is seeking restitution of $3.4 million from one of the defendants. It is part of a federal investigation that includes an indictment of the group’s founder and former top executive on charges of overbilling Medicaid and Tricare on treatments for autistic children, and the government is looking to recover $9 million.