Taxes and Spending

  • Mystery $1.8B task force advised by firm with Trump ties

    By RICK BRUNDRETT The task force created by Gov. Henry McMaster to investigate an unclaimed $1.8 billion is getting advice from an international law firm that specializes in defending clients facing possible or actual federal investigations, records show. The Atlanta-based King & Spalding firm also has ties to former President...
  • Governor's secret task force still mum on mystery $1.8B

    By RICK BRUNDRETT A task force created by Gov. Henry McMaster to investigate a mysterious $1.8 billion that reportedly is in a state account has met secretly at least six times in less than two months but hasn’t yet publicly released any specific findings. As The Nerve revealed last month,...
  • The multibillion-dollar state surplus that keeps growing

    Editor’s note: This is the first investigative story in a two-part package on massive state financial accounts. The other story can be found here. By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. lawmakers don’t talk much publicly about this part of the state’s coffers, though it’s a huge chunk of money. Known as “other”...
  • Secret meetings of governor's task force end run around state law?

    Editor’s note: This is the second investigative story in a two-part package on massive state financial accounts. The other story can be found here. By RICK BRUNDRETT A task force created last month by Gov. Henry McMaster to investigate a reportedly unclaimed $1.8 billion in a state account has met...
  • Unapproved nuke model part of SC 'clean electricity' plan

    By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. officials want to spend millions of state tax dollars on a new “clean electricity” strategy that includes a type of nuclear technology currently not in use by any U.S. utility, an investigation by The Nerve has found. In recently passing its version of the nearly $41...
  • 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...