A big mistake resulting from a lack of communication between state agencies has left the General Fund of South Carolina government almost $60 million short. The South Carolina Board of Economic Advisers met a week early on Wednesday in order to deal with the issue, after the error was found on Monday.
Board Chairman John Rainey says the $59.7 million should have been put into a segregated account under the treasurer’s office just for money generated through increased tax auditing at the Department of Revenue. Because that wasn’t done in 2009 at the beginning of the fiscal year, the General Fund figure guiding state lawmakers will have to be cut. The oversight will increase next year’s budget shortfall to more than $600 million.
(Rainey on $60 million mistake MP3 1:42)
Rainey on $60 million mistake
The Department of Revenue says the special account was never created at the Treasurer’s office to put the money in; state treasury officials say the account was created in September but that was not communicated to Revenue officials.
Rainey says the money was finally transferred in recent weeks. He says figuring it out now is up to state lawmakers.
Members of the Budget and Control Board decided not to make any other adjustment to the state’s overall revenue projection as they do on a month-by-month basis, based on unemployment rate and other factors. Rainey says in general terms, the recession appears to be bottoming out.