The state Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned “dubious spending” in Richland County’s transportation penny sales tax program and ordered a halt to further spending until the county ensures the money is being spent legally.
The court said the county “woefully failed” to recognize how the money could be used.
The justices directed a circuit court judge to require the county to establish safeguards assuring the money is spent only on transportation-related capital projects and some administrative costs, as required by state law. The circuit court can also order the county to repay any previous improper expenditures.
A county spokeswoman said the ruling is being reviewed by attorneys. But County Council member Greg Pearce said county officials were taken by surprise by the ruling.
As carried in TS