As Biden addresses the nation, what is the state of South Carolina?

As President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union Address to Congress this evening, South Carolinians continue to suffer the impacts of record-high inflation, and most SC voters believe America is on the wrong track. 

According to our January voter poll, just 38% of likely SC voters said America is on the right track, while 58% said it is on the wrong track. Worse, 78% of SC voters said they are concerned they may not be able to pay their bills because of inflation, while nearly half (48%) said they were very concerned.  

“Inflation continues to ravage South Carolina families,” said Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the South Carolina Policy Council. “President Biden, with help from congressional Democrats and Republicans, must address this issue as a top priority, which begins with spending less of the taxpayers’ money.” 



Prices in the South jumped by 7% from December 2021-December 2022. This is slightly less than the 7.4% spike that prices saw during the prior 12-month period, suggesting overall inflation may be slowing marginally.  

Price increases from Dec 2021-22 

Food: 10.8%  

  1. Meat, poultry, fish and eggs: 8.9%  
  2. Cereal and bakery products: 16.5%  
  3. Dairy: 15.2%  
  4. Fruits and vegetables: 8%  

Electricity: 15.7%  

New and used vehicles -0.8%  

Medical care: 3.6%  

Apparel: 2.6%  


The average home value in South Carolina is $302,000, according to Zillow, up 17.3% over the last year. For context, our inflation report from last April noted that home values had increased by almost 26% since April of 2021, suggesting the housing market is starting to cool after a historic boom.   


Most people will already know that fuel prices have come down significantly since last summer, when the average price of regular gas in South Carolina reached a whopping $4.60 per gallon in June. Today the price is $3.16, which is about 30 cents less than the national average. While this is no doubt good news, gas is still more expensive than it was two years ago.  


While state lawmakers don’t have as much control over economic policy as the federal government, there’s one thing they can always do to provide relief: cut taxes. Fortunately, this is exactly what South Carolina did last year when it cut the personal income tax for the first time in state history. Despite this, however, our top rate of 6.5% is still the highest in the Southeast.  

When voters were asked in our January poll: South Carolina now has higher state income tax rates than all its neighboring states. When it comes to creating jobs and attracting new business, how important do you think it is for South Carolina lawmakers to reduce income tax rates? 

Nearly four in five (79%) said further tax reductions are important for creating new jobs and attracting business, while 54% said they are very important. Accordingly, we strongly encourage lawmakers to accelerate tax relief this legislative session.