South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is asking her state agency heads to prepare for possible budget cuts this upcoming year.
Haley’s office sent a letter to agencies warning that tax revenue appeared to slow this summer and the governor wants her various departments to prepare in case of an economic downturn before next year’s budget takes effect in June. The Governor’s Office is asking agencies to consider ways to reduce their budgets by at least three percent next year, totaling more than $200 million across the government.
The state Board of Economic Advisers forecast last week that lawmakers will bring in about $440 million in additional revenue next year. While still an increase, that is still roughly a third of the $1.2 billion above budget they had for the current fiscal year (due to sources outside of taxes last year).
“We owe it to taxpayers to budget smart — keeping spending under control, reserves high and debt low,” the letter states. The State newspaper first reported the memo on Monday.
The Governor’s Office is receiving input from agencies in the coming weeks as it drafts its budget proposal for next year. Their budget recommendations will be released in January and the legislators will then decide whether to follow those recommendations or come up with their own version. The final Board of Economic Advisers forecast will come in May 2017, which is the number that legislators will use to balance their final budget plan next year.