Sustainable budgeting: a new path for South Carolina

By Bryce Fiedler and Vance Ginn, Ph.D. With its vibrant cities, relatively cheap cost of living, and thriving industries like manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality, it’s obvious why South Carolina is one of the fastest growing states in the nation. To keep its competitive edge and protect the interests of taxpayers, it is imperative that state …

South Carolina State House Happenings

Transparency check-in: streaming at the Statehouse

To encourage more transparency in state government, SCPC has been examining how frequently legislative committee meetings are livestreamed to the public. These committees have the important job of reviewing and approving bills before they reach the House and Senate floor, and committee members will often propose changes in the process. We contend that streaming during …

SCPC Voter Poll Release (May 31 – Jun 3, 2022)

. . Inflation, gas prices are top concerns for SC voters as lawmakers return to Columbia for special session Inflation and gas prices are among the most pressing concerns for South Carolina voters. Voters also feel positive towards legislative reform efforts focused on taxes, education, elections and transparency.    82% of likely S.C. 2022 general election …

Inflation in SC shows need for bold tax cuts

Record breaking prices are making everyday life harder for Americans, especially for some in South Carolina. Indeed, by some measurements, the Palmetto State (and the South generally) is experiencing higher inflation than the rest of the country.   The big picture  In the South, overall prices have jumped by 8.8% in the last year (Apr 2021 …

South Carolina freest state in the nation

As session wraps up, promising bills near the finish line

South Carolina’s regular legislative session ends May 12, meaning just three weeks remain (including this one) to send most bills to the governor’s desk for signing. Fortunately, there’s some great legislation near the finish line.  Below is an overview of these proposals, several of which SCPC has supported or sought to improve this year. Tax …

Analysis: School board transparency is great, but lawmakers should lead by example

The Senate last week unanimously passed a bill pushing South Carolina’s school boards to livestream their meetings. Despite some issues in its execution, this is a much-needed policy – one that is central to the Policy Council’s goal of empowering citizens through transparency in government. At the same time, however, the proposal highlights a double standard by …

Perspective: Utilize mega surplus for tax relief, not government growth

When we published our analysis comparing the House and Senate tax cut bills last month, we noted that state government was expecting a $4.6 billion revenue surplus for next fiscal year, and questioned why House lawmakers opted for a relatively small cut that would take years to fully phase in given the extra money available.   The …

These House budget provisos need attention

The House this week passed its version of the largest state government budget in South Carolina’s history – a bill that would appropriate $38.2 billion in tax dollars, federal funds, and other fines and fees. Included in the bloated budget are hundreds of temporary laws called “provisos”, which are meant to guide spending but are …

Check-in: Budget transparency hits a new low

Transparency for taxpayers hit a new low this week. On Wednesday and Thursday, the S.C. Senate held a total of nine budget subcommittee hearings – the most it has held in one week since session began. Not one was streamed to the public.   According to meeting agendas, 36 state agencies presented their budget requests to lawmakers without …

Analysis: SC’s competing tax cut proposals, what to know

After years of justified frustration from taxpayers, state lawmakers have finally decided to address South Carolina’s highest-in-the-Southeast top income tax rate. The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would lower and consolidate the state income tax, while the Senate recently introduced its own income tax proposal that includes a plan to use $1 billion in surplus funds …