SC Economic Advisors Add $292 Million In Revenue
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) â¿¿ South Carolina's improving job outlook means legislators have an additional $292 million in one-time and recurring money as they craft the state's 2012-13 budget.
The state Board of Economic Advisors on Tuesday certified an additional $137 million coming into state coffers in sales and income taxes above earlier estimates for the fiscal year ending June 30, as well as an extra $18 million in lottery sales. The board then added that $137 million to the base for 2012-13 revenue projections.
That means $155 million in one-time money and $137 million in recurring funds, as the Senate Finance Committee continues its work on the state spending plan.Board chairman Chad Walldorf said the biggest catalyst was stronger-than-anticipated job growth, combined with lower-than-expected income tax refunds and slightly higher sales tax collections. The state's unemployment rate has steadily dropped from 10.5 percent when the fiscal year began last July to 8.9 percent in March â¿¿ down from a high of 12 percent in late 2009. The board's decision adds to its November boost of roughly $900 million. "As we have now certified well over $1 billion in new state government revenue this fiscal year, I am hopeful that the General Assembly will use at least some of this windfall to pay down our enormous unfunded liabilities and return a portion to the taxpayers of our state," Walldorf said. The House approved its $6.5 billion state spending plan in March, along with a separate bill designating $105 million that represents money put aside this fiscal year in case of a downturn. The measures include a 2 percent raise for public workers, $77 million in tax relief to businesses through unemployment insurance, $180 million set aside to pay for the state's share of deepening the Charleston Harbor, and one-time money to public universities for deferred maintenance.
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