State economists predict South Carolina’s government will have nearly $300 million more in revenues to spend next year.
The State newspaper is reporting that the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors projects the state’s General Fund will have about $7.5 billion for regular budget expenditures for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015. That’s a roughly four percent increase from this current fiscal year’s estimated $7.2 billion. The state’s general fund budget is made up mostly of sales tax, personal and corporate income tax and is counted separately from federal funds.
Board of Economic Advisors chairman Chad Walldorf said the $283 million difference is largely due to an improving employment picture that means more overall income for South Carolinians. That, in turns, means more taxable wages for the state, he added.
Lawmakers rely on the BEA’s predictions when drafting the next year’s budget. The state legislature will begin work on the budget for the coming year when they return to the Statehouse in January.
As part of a government restructuring bill that passed earlier this year, the Board of Economic Advisors moved from the now-dissolved Budget & Control Board to the new Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. Of the board’s three members, one is appointed by the governor, one by the Senate Finance Committee chair, and another by the House Ways & Means Committee chairman.