Taxes and Spending

Budget breakdown: Where SC taxpayers’ money is going in FY25

The dust has settled on South Carolina’s new budget following Governor McMaster's announcement of a relatively short list of vetoes in early July. The 21 vetoes, striking $2.3 million in earmark spending and nixing a handful of provisos, represent a small fraction of the overall budget and only marginally exceed...

  • Budget breakdown: Where SC taxpayers’ money is going in FY25

    The dust has settled on South Carolina’s new budget following Governor McMaster's announcement of a relatively short list of vetoes in early July. The 21 vetoes, striking $2.3 million in earmark spending and nixing a handful of provisos, represent a small fraction of the overall budget and only marginally exceed...
  • Getting the most tax relief out of the FY25 budget

    Update 6/21/24: After weeks of negotiations between House and Senate leaders, a budget conference committee on Friday advanced a compromise FY25 state appropriations bill that will accelerate this year's income tax reduction, taking the top rate from 6.4% to 6.2%. However, the House proposal to provide one-time property tax credits,...
  • Transparency efforts could illuminate SC’s budget process

    Giving citizens a clearer picture of where their tax dollars are going, and why As a research intern for the S.C. Policy Council, I attended many legislative hearings over the spring months to learn about the state’s next budget. My objectives were twofold: see firsthand how the budget is constructed...
  • Mystery money: How to return the $1.8 billion to taxpayers

    Update 4/19/24: The Senate Finance subcommittee investigating the $1.8 billion issued an interim report on Tuesday. It recommends a forensic audit of the bank account in question, legislation to make the State Auditor more independent, and a constitutional amendment to make the Treasurer an appointed position instead of being elected by...
  • Proposed SC budget exceeds recommended limit, could do more for tax relief

    Update 3/13/24: The House on Wednesday passed an initial draft of the next state budget, unchanged from the summary below. The week saw healthy debate and commendable efforts from lawmakers to challenge spending requests, including several noted in this report. We encourage the Senate, which goes next in the process, to utilize...
  • Pricey projects on college budget wish lists

    Recently, some of South Carolina’s top universities shared their fiscal year 2024-25 spending plans with the Senate’s higher education budget subcommittee. The requests included plenty of high-dollar projects that would be funded with taxpayers’ money. Below are a few highlights.  
  • Impact: Upstate county pushing conservative budget ordinance

    Weeks after the Policy Council released its 2025 SC Sustainable Budget – a data-driven report aimed at reining in state government spending – an ambitious budget proposal was introduced to Upstate taxpayers. 
  • Lawmakers send pension protection bill to governor's desk

    The S.C. Senate this week unanimously passed a bill (H.3690) to ensure that South Carolina’s pension funds are invested based on financial criteria to maximize shareholder value, not advance ESG (environmental, social, and governance) objectives. The bill, having passed the S.C. House last year in near-unanimous fashion, heads to Gov....
  • The need for spending relief: the 2025 SC Sustainable Budget

    By Bryce Fiedler and Vance Ginn, Ph.D. Thanks to a robust state economy, plentiful business opportunities, and a relatively low cost of living, South Carolina remains one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. To maintain this strong position and promote further growth, it is crucial for S.C. legislators to...
  • Important state budgetary law ignored once again

    More than one hundred planning documents for next year’s state budget are missing important data required by South Carolina law.