2020 Opinions

October 22, 2020

Opinion on whether an attempt to furnish contraband to a prisoner in violation of Section 24-3-950 includes presence on SCDC property as an element of the offense.   Requested by Mr. Bryan P. Stirling, Director, South Carolina Department of Corrections.   Read full opinion.

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October 22, 2020

Opinion on procedures for adding new members to an existing regional transportation authority, criteria for apportioning seats on its governing board and issues related to funding.   Requested by Francenia B. Heizer, Esquire, attorney for the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority.   Read full opinion.

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October 15, 2020

Opinion on the definition of “good moral character” in S.C. Code Ann. Section 38-43-100(F)(2).   Requested by Mr. David E. Belton, Senior Associate General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Insurance.   Read full opinion.

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October 14, 2020

Opinion addressing the ability of taxing jurisdictions to employ a third party on a contingency fee basis for services other than collecting delinquent business license taxes.   Requested by The Honorable Wallace H. “Jay” Jordan, Jr., Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.    

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October 12, 2020

Opinion addressing the enforceability of municipal face covering ordinances at polling places during an election.   Requested by Mr. Joseph M. Cronin, Town Administrator, Town of Seabrook Island.   Read full opinion.    

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October 5, 2020

Opinion addressing whether a county council member is precluded from becoming a bail bondsman.   Requested by The Honorable William Roddey, York County Councilmember.   Read full opinion.

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September 28, 2020

Opinion on whether the S.C. Freedom of Information Act requires the production of voted ballots, scanned images of voted ballots, and vote cast records.   Requested by Ms. Marci Andino, Executive Director, South Carolina Election Commission.   Read full opinion.

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September 14, 2020

Opinion addressing how the revenue from Tourism Development Fees may be used and the renewal of Tourism Development Fees.   Requested by The Honorable Luke Rankin, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.

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September 10, 2020

Opinion on dual office holding (can the city administrator who won office to the S.C. General Assembly be hired as a “transition coordinator” for one to three months to assist in her transition away from the city).   Requested by Joseph C. Wilson, Esquire, Attorney for the City of Folly Beach.   Read full opinion.

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September 3, 2020

Opinion addressing the ability of a nonprofit corporation to hold its annual meeting via electronic or virtual means.   Requested by The Honorable Stephen Goldfinch, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.

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August 31, 2020

Opinion addressing several issues regarding the conduct to tax sales during COVID-19 including notice, online tax sales, and the receipt of payment.   Requested by The Honorable David A. Adams, Treasurer, County of Richland.   Read full opinion.

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August 24, 2020

Opinion regarding what procedures local governments must follow to implement a stormwater management fee, what activities such fee revenue may fund, and the extent to which each user may be required to pay.   Requested by The Honorable William L. “Lee” Hewitt, III, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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August 17, 2020

Opinion addressing the impact of a pardon on a person’s right to vote and hold public office.   Requested by The Honorable Chris Hart, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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August 17, 2020

Opinion addressing a county council’s and a sheriff department’s responsibilities in regard to the sheriff department’s budget.   Requested by David L. Tedder, Esquire, Attorney for Jasper County.   Read full opinion.

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August 6, 2020

Opinion on a “State of Disaster Declaration” passed by Saluda County Council referencing certain extraordinary emergency powers including the suspension or limitation of the sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages and firearms.   Requested by The Honorable Jonathon Hill, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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August 6, 2020

Opinion on dual office holding (serve as council member at large and serve as a member of the Pickens County Performing Arts Foundation Board of Directors and on the Liberty Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors).   Requested by The Honorable Erica Romo Woods, Council Member at Large, City of Liberty.   Read full opinion.

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August 3, 2020

Opinion addressing the ability to conduct tax sales through the use of an online platform.   Requested by Mr. Daniel Gregory, Delinquent Tax Collector, Charleston County and The Honorable Maria Walls, Treasurer, Beaufort County.   Read full opinion.

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August 3, 2020

Opinion regarding the application of the Preservation of Evidence Act to vehicles that are processed according to a search warrant for one of the twenty-four listed crimes in the Act.   Requested by The Honorable Charles Wright, Sheriff, Spartanburg County.   Read full opinion.

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August 3, 2020

Opinion addressing a local government’s responsibility in regard to the Family Privacy Protection Act.   Requested by D. Malloy McEachin, Jr., P.A., Attorney for Florence County.   Read full opinion.

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July 30, 2020

Opinion on dual office holding (service on both the South Carolina Lottery Commission and the City of Spartanburg Hospitality Tax Grants Committee).   Requested by Dolly Garfield, General Counsel, South Carolina Education Lottery.   Read full opinion.

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July 30, 2020

Opinion on fire code enforcement jurisdiction in the unincorporated areas of a county.   Requested by D’Anne Haydel, Esquire, Attorney for Orangeburg County.   Read full opinion.

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July 27, 2020

Opinion on when is it proper to issue a fugitive justice warrant per Section 17-9-10.   Requested by The Honorable Terri Murray, Judge,  Greer.   Read full opinion

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July 23, 2020

Opinion on when the general jurisdiction of campus police officers extends beyond the physical campus of a private college or university.   Requested by Chief Kevin Portee, Benedict College Police Department.   Read full opinion.

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July 21, 2020: Meriwether Monument Opinion

An opinion on whether the Heritage Act applies to the Meriwether Monument located in North Augusta, South Carolina. This opinion includes discussion of other relevant state law which is specific to the Meriwether Monument. Requested by Kelly F. Zier, Esq., City Attorney for North Augusta, South Carolina. Read full opinion here.

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July 16, 2020

Opinion on whether a spouse’s ownership in a beer wholesale business would prevent an applicant from obtaining a beer retail license under section 61-4-940 of the South Carolina Code and whether the South Carolina Department of Revenue can use its regulatory authority to prohibit the holder of a beer retail license from purchasing from a spouse who holds a wholesale license.   Requested by The Honorable J. Gregory Hembree, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.    

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July 14, 2020

Opinion on whether or not Bamberg County, by and through its county council, can dictate the removal of a statue on public property.   Requested by Richard B. Ness, Esquire, attorney for Bamberg County.   Read full opinion.

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July 9, 2020

Opinion addressing the SC Real Estate Commission’s ability to require social security-based criminal records checks for licensure.   Requested by Ms. Candace Pratt, Chairwoman, SC Real Estate Commission.   Read full opinion.

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July 1, 2020

Opinion addressing the ability of the Clarendon County Legislative Delegation to appoint members to the Clarendon County School District 4 Board of Trustees.   Requested by George E. Frierson III, Chairman Clarendon School District 3 Board of Trustees.   Read full opinion.    

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July 1, 2020

Opinion regarding eligibility requirements to attend a state supported college, university, or post high school technical education institution free of tuition under the provisions of S.C. Code Section 59-111-20.   Requested by Joseph S. McLamb, Chief of Staff, South Carolina department of Veterans Affairs.   Read full opinion.

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June 25, 2020

Opinion on the constitutionality of the Heritage Act.   Requested by The Honorable Mike Burns, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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June 25, 2020

Opinion regarding statutory authority for reporting patient concerns and personnel authority for officers and employees of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.   Requested by The Honorable Micajah P. Caskey, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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June 22, 2020

Opinion addressing the term of vacancy appointees on boards of trustees for Anderson County School Districts.   Requested by Richard e. Thompson, Jr., Esquire, local counsel for the Anderson Board of Education.   Read full opinion.

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June 22, 2020

Opinion addressing  whether environmental mitigation serves as a commercial purpose as set forth in the deed restrictions on the property.   Requested by Karen Blair Manning, Chief Legal Counsel, South Carolina Department of Commerce.   Read full opinion.

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June 15, 2020

Opinion addressing oversight authority of county legislative delegations over county boards of voter registration and elections.   Requested by The Honorable Jimmy Bales, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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June 4, 2020

Opinion addressing the impact of Section 44-115-80 of the South Carolina Code on the ability of a county to impose a fee for copies of autopsy reports by ordinance.   Requested by The Honorable Gary Watts, Richland County Coroner.   Read full opinion.

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May 22, 2020

Opinion on the use of use of subpoena duces tecum in criminal proceedings per Rule 13(a)(1) of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure.   Requested by The Honorable David R. Wagner, Solicitor, Tenth Judicial Circuit.   Read full opinion.

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May 13, 2020

Opinion addressing the responsibilities of a certificate holder and a municipality for equipment related to PEG access channels under the South Carolina competitive Cable Services Act.   Requested by John J. Fantry, Jr., Special Utility Counsel for the Town of Winnsboro.   Read full opinion.

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May 13, 2020

Opinion on several questions related to a claim and delivery action for a stolen firearm (Section 40-39-145, South Carolina Code of Laws).   Requested by Wesley Vorberger, Esquire, Attorney for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.   Read full opinion.

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May 6, 2020

Opinion addressing the status of county veterans’ affairs officers in light of amendments to article 1, chapter 11 of title 25 of the South Carolina Code.   Requested by William F. Grimsley, EdD., Secretary, South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs.   Read full opinion.  

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May 6, 2020

Opinion addressing the handling of conditional discharges for simple possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct by summary courts.   Requested by The Honorable Deborah R. Culler, Clemson University Municipal Court.   Read full opinion.

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May 5, 2020

Opinion on an Emergency Executive Order by the City Manager of Myrtle Beach relating to accommodations businesses.   Requested by The Honorable Alan D. Clemmons, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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April 29, 2020

Opinion addressing whether a local business grant program serves a public purpose.   Requested by Mr. Steve Willis, Lancaster County Administrator.   Read full opinion.

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April 27, 2020

Opinion addressing appointments to the Technical College of the Lowcountry Commission.   Requested by The Honorable Jeff Bradley, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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April 27, 2020

Opinion addressing whether the South Carolina Housing Trust Fund may be used to fund a temporary rental assistance program.   Requested by The Honorable Marvin R. Pendarvis, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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April 21, 2020

Opinion on recent amendments to the S.C. High School League’s by-laws regarding eligibility of students that transfer to private and charter schools.   Requested by the Honorable Larry Grooms, Member, South Carolina Senate and The Honorable Garry R. Smith, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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April 16, 2020

Opinion on the release of information about COVID-19 decedents.   Requested by Ms. Sabrina Gast, President, South Carolina Coroner’s Association.   Read full opinion.

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April 16, 2020

Opinion regarding proposed Beaufort County Board of Education emergency resolution.   Requested by Christina Gwozdz, MD, Chairperson, Beaufort County Board of Education.   Read full opinion.

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April 13, 2020

Opinion on successive declarations of emergency.   Requested by The Honorable Josiah Magnuson, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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April 13, 2020

Opinion on the legal/ethical considerations of a Beaufort, S.C. ordinance that requires the City Council to appoint a member of the Historic Beaufort Foundation Board of Trustees to the City’s Historic District Review Board.   Requested by The Honorable Billy Keyserling, Mayor, City of Beaufort.   Read full opinion

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April 10, 2020

Opinion on whether the Heritage Act, S.C. Code Ann. Section 10-1-165 applies to the Cooper River Memorial Library.   Requested by Joseph Dawson, III, Attorney for Charleston County.   Read full opinion.

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April 6, 2020

Opinion addressing whether vehicles owned by a rural telephone cooperative are subject to property taxes imposed by a town.   Requested by Mr. J. William Taylor, Town Administrator, Town of Jefferson.   Read full opinion.

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April 2, 2020

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of specific municipal knife ordinances and whether they conflict with the concealed weapons statute in S.C. Code Ann. Section 16-23-460.   Requested by The Honorable Ross Turner, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.

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March 30, 2020

Opinion on whether a meeting between the S.C. Department on Aging and its area agencies on aging would be considered a “meeting” as defined under the S.C. FOIA.   Requested by Connie D. Munn, Director, S.C. Department on Aging.   Read full opinion.

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March 30, 2020

Opinion on dual office holding (Mapper Clerk in the Tax Assessors Office and run for city council).   Requested By Ms. Hattie Jackson, Mapper Clerk, Tax Assessors Office.   Read full opinion.

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Opinion on the enforcement of Section 16-7-10 in light of Executive Order 2020-13

Opinion on the enforcement of Section 16-7-10 in light of Executive Order 2020-13. Requested by Chief Mark A. Keel, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Read full opinion.

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Updated opinion with additional citations concerning the extraordinary powers of the Governor during a state of emergency. This updated opinion is based upon a new declaration of emergency by the Governor, dated March 28, 2020.

Updated opinion with additional citations concerning the extraordinary powers of the Governor during a state of emergency. This updated opinion is based upon a new declaration of emergency by the Governor, dated March 28, 2020. Read full opinion

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March 13, 2020

Opinion clarifying the definition of “farm truck” per Section 56-3-670.   Requested by The Honorable Will F. Derrick, Chief Administrative Judge, Oconee County.   Read full opinion.

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March 11, 2020

Opinion on whether an active military serviceperson can fulfill the residency requirements to serve as a board member of a South Carolina public charter school (Section 59-40-50(B)(9), Code of Laws of South Carolina).   Requested by Tyler R. Turner, Esquire, Turner Caudell.   Read full opinion.

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March 10, 2020

Opinion on whether Act 368 of 1975 which transferred recommendation authority from the Chester County legislative delegation to the Chester County Board of Directors for two member appointments on the Chester Metropolitan District Commission violates the prohibition on special legislation.   Requested by Mr. Fred Castles III, PE, Executive Director, Chester Metropolitan District.   Read full opinion.

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March 2, 2020

Opinion on whether a clerk of court may lift a bench warrant.   Requested by The Honorable Renee N. Elvis, Horry County Clerk of Court.   Read full opinion.

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February 25, 2020

Opinion addressing several questions regarding the impact of the 2006 Property Tax Reform Act on school funding in Spartanburg County.   Requested by The Honorable Edward R. Tallon, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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February 25, 2020

Opinion on the scope of authority of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to conduct certain reviews under regulations promulgated pursuant to the Health Care Cooperation Act (S.C. Code Ann. Sections 44-7-500 through 44-7-590).   Requested by W. Marshall Taylor, Jr., General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.   Read full opinion.

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February 20, 2020

Opinion on dual office holding (police officer also serving as a commissioned member of the Greenville County DEU).   Requested by Wesley Vorberger, General Counsel, Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.   Read full opinion.

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February 18, 2020

Opinion on whether Section 59-32-30(A)(5) would pass constitutional muster under the Equal Protection Clause.   Requested by The Honorable Molly M. Spearman, State Superintendent of Education.   Read full opinion.

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February 14, 2020

Opinion on whether a fee paid to a 3rd party chosen by the consumer to facilitate a payment on a consumer credit transaction is a charge imposed by the creditor under the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code.   Requested by The Honorable Bill Sandifer, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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February 7, 2020

Opinion on whether a county may prohibit a municipality from requiring annexation as a prerequisite for obtaining sewer service in unincorporated areas.   Requested by Jennifer C. Blumenthal, Esquire, Attorney for the Commissioners of Public Works of the City of Charleston.   Read full opinion.

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January 31, 2020

Opinion on whether intramuscular therapy is within the scope of practice of chiropractic as established by the General Assembly.   Requested by Melina Mann, General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation.   Read full opinion.

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January 28, 2020

Opinion on whether Section 56-5-1520(A) of the South Carolina Code requires a collision or contact with a moving object in order for a driver to be cited for driving too fast for conditions.   Requested by The Honorable Jeffrey P. Bloom, Magistrate for Calhoun County.   Read full opinion.

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January 24, 2020

Opinion on preliminary hearings per Rule 2(a) of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure.   Requested by The Honorable Robert N. Clariday, Magistrate, Orangeburg County.   Read full opinion.

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January 24, 2020

Opinion on the collection of fees by South Carolina clerks of court for copies of court records requested by parties to a case or other representatives.   Requested by Mr. Robert L. McCurdy, Deputy Director, South Carolina Court Administration.   Read full opinion.

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January 21, 2020

Opinion regarding what projects may be funded by developmental impact fees and whether proportionate share calculations for different types of land uses violates equal protection under the South Carolina and federal constitutions.   Requested by The Honorable Micajah P. Caskey, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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January 15, 2020

Opinion interpreting Section 7-5-170 requiring that an individual need only provide the last 4 digits of their social security number in order to register to vote.   Requested by The Honorable J. Michelle Childs, Judge, United States District Court, South Carolina.   Read full opinion.

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January 14, 2020

Opinion on whether or not a non-profit charitable organization can provide visions screenings and/or eye examinations to students in and at Title I schools located in South Carolina.   Requested by The Honorable Brad Hutto, Member, South Carolina Senate and The Honorable Murrell Smith, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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January 10, 2020

Opinion regarding what appraisal methods are permissible for the valuation of golf courses under S.C. Code, Section 12-43-365.   Requested by The Honorable Bart T. Blackwell, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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