COLUMBIA, S.C. — This week, Richland County state lawmaker Kirkman Finlay (R) said he reviewed a copy of a preliminary S.C. Department of Revenue audit into the County's penny tax program.
Finlay said it raised serious questions about the County's potential misspending of more than $40 million.
So far, neither the SCDOR nor the County will release the preliminary report or comment on what it says.
On Wednesday evening, Richland County denied WLTX's open records request for the document. The SCDOR denied WLTX's open records request last week.
A deep dive into the County's most recent progress report shows what the County spent money on and what projects are complete.
According to the September 2019 report:
- The County has collected $442,971,140 in revenue
- The County has spent $431,618,619 of the revenue
- $159,174,061 has been spent on construction
- $3,785,959 has been spent on dirt road paving management
- $104,416,755 has been spent on the COMET
- $65 million on 'mitigation bank' and bond debt service
- $7.7 million on PDT matters (the Program Development Team managed the tax for 5 years)
- $49 million on design, planning and delivery
- $34 million on right-of-way purchases and utilities
The County's report says 452 projects are complete, stretching nearly 90 miles of road way.
Those projects include:
- $9.7 million on Bluff Rd. Widening Phase 1
- $13 million for 8 intersection improvements
- $3.35 million on Riverbanks Zoo pedestrian bridge
- $17.9 million on Greene St. Phase 1
- $32.4 million on Shop Road Extension Phase 1
- $1.4 million on sidewalk improvements
- $2.9 million on bikeways