State budget writers will have an extra $300 million to work with next spring, according to predictions from a key board.
South Carolina’s Board of Economic Advisors on Thursday predicted that the state’s General Fund will collect over $7 billion in revenue during the 2014-2015 fiscal year. That’s up from the $6.7 billion that legislators and the Governor’s Office passed for the current fiscal year, which began in July. The General Fund consists of various sales and property taxes that are the primary method used to fund the state budget. It does not account for federal money or fees collected by state agencies.
The Governor’s Office uses the board’s projections to write its proposed budget. The board could reconsider its prediction at its meeting next month, the last meeting before Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to release her own budget proposal.
The projections anticipate a 3.4 percent increase in sales tax revenue during the 2015 fiscal year, as well as a 4 percent increase in corporate income tax. If the $7 billion prediction holds up, it would be the largest General Fund ever set by the board (not adjusted for inflation).
The board also kept its $6.8 billion prediction for the current fiscal year intact.