Taxes and Spending

Bridge, road work in SC still moving slowly with gas-tax-hike money

By RICK BRUNDRETT In recently announcing his proposed nearly $41 billion total state budget for fiscal 2025, Gov. Henry McMaster recommended using a projected $500 million school-fund surplus for emergency bridge replacement and repairs. “Many of these bridges are 60, 70 and even in excess of 80 years old and...

  • Bridge, road work in SC still moving slowly with gas-tax-hike money

    By RICK BRUNDRETT In recently announcing his proposed nearly $41 billion total state budget for fiscal 2025, Gov. Henry McMaster recommended using a projected $500 million school-fund surplus for emergency bridge replacement and repairs. “Many of these bridges are 60, 70 and even in excess of 80 years old and...
  • State agency surpluses total $4 billion to start fiscal '24

    By RICK BRUNDRETT When fiscal 2022-23 ended on June 30, the state’s general fund had a balance of less than $58 million – a relatively paltry amount compared to the $1.2 billion surplus reported a year earlier. But that doesn’t mean state government in South Carolina is poor. Far from...
  • S.C. counties spending above population growth, inflation

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Oconee County Council Chairman Matthew Durham will tell you he ran on a campaign promise of low taxes and limited government growth. Durham, who was elected to County Council in 2020 and became its chairman this year, says he was alarmed that the county’s annual budget grew...
  • Governor’s vetoes don’t touch hundreds of millions in earmark spending

    By RICK BRUNDRETT When it came to reining in lawmakers’ spending on their favored local projects for the upcoming fiscal year, Gov. Henry McMaster used a veto butter knife on earmarks totaling more than $709 million. In his annual written veto message released Tuesday, McMaster vetoed just six out of 515 state...
  • House follows Senate in earmark money grab

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Like the 46-member S.C. Senate, the 124-member S.C. House apparently can’t resist spending hundreds of millions in state surplus dollars – mainly on lawmakers’ favored local projects. Bolstered by a rosy prediction last week by official revenue forecasters that the state’s general fund surplus for this fiscal year...
  • Senators feast on taxpayer-funded earmarks for pricey projects

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Through largely hidden budget earmarks, S.C. senators have proposed a total of more than $314 million for projects next fiscal year mainly in their respective legislative districts – including dozens of $1 million-plus requests, a review by The Nerve found. The 46-member Senate two years ago changed...
  • Policy Council advocating title insurance reform

    By Dallas Woodhouse Bills under consideration in the S.C. Legislature would remove a quirk in state law that unnecessarily regulates the relationship between title insurance agencies and their underwriters. A recently filed state House bill along with its Senate counterpart would embrace the free-market system and allow the two parties to negotiate commission payments...
  • Constitutional amendments to strengthen state reserves cruise to passage

    By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. voters in Tuesday’s general election easily approved constitutional amendments to increase the state’s two main “rainy-day” funds. With all 46 counties reporting, the proposals to expand the General Reserve Fund (GRF) and Capital Reserve Fund (CRF) passed by about 62% of the vote, according to unofficial State...
  • SCPC, ATR to hold statewide tour on ballot amendments

    By RICK BRUNDRETT The South Carolina Policy Council – The Nerve’s parent organization – and Americans for Tax Reform, a national taxpayer advocacy group, are touring the state next week to promote proposed constitutional amendments on the Nov. 8 ballot to increase the state’s two main “rainy-day” funds, according to...
  • Many SC voters favor bigger state reserves. Will they approve it this year?

    By RICK BRUNDRETT South Carolina voters in November will decide whether to approve constitutional amendments to increase the state’s two “rainy-day” funds, though a just-released poll casts doubt on their passage. The statewide poll by the South Carolina Policy Council – The Nerve’s parent organization – found that a plurality...