True or False: A municipality may offer publicly funded incentives to businesses in the form of grants or loans for any purpose.
A municipality may offer publicly funded incentives in the form of grants or loans as long as it uses the funds for a public purpose. In South Carolina, council can only expend public funds for a "public purpose." The South Carolina Supreme Court has defined "public purpose" as one that "has for its objective the promotion of the public health, safety, morals, general welfare, security, prosperity, and contentment." Eligibility for incentive participation must not be arbitrary and must treat all members of the class of eligible business activities in a similar manner under similar circumstances. For more information, view the economic development incentives whitepaper.
The Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government offers in-person and online courses. The next in-person courses, "Forms of Municipal Government" and "Municipal Economic Development," will take place September 22 at the regional councils of governments area locations.