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South Carolina lawmakers poised to vote on fiscal 2025 budget


(The Center Square) — South Carolina lawmakers are expected to vote on a state budget for fiscal 2025 following a Friday deal, according to reports.

The state’s 2025 fiscal year starts July 1.

“There is no reason that our Legislature shouldn’t finalize the budget before the end of the month,” AFP-SC Director of Public Affairs Candace Carroll said in a statement last week before the budget deal.

“Continuing resolutions are a short-term fix, not a solution that provides a comprehensive budget for the state,” Carroll added. “The beginning of the 2025 fiscal year is rapidly approaching, and we hope that Members who return to the Statehouse on the 25th will come to an agreement, place votes, and send a budget to the Governor’s desk.”

According to the South Carolina Policy Council, the proposed budget would lower the Palmetto State’s top income tax rate to 6.2%, down from 6.4%. However, according to the policy group, the proposed spending plan does not “return a multi-hundred million dollar surplus back to homeowners, despite a requirement in state law.”

“That 6.2% provides a billion dollars in annual tax relief if you compare it [to] when we started at 7%,” state Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, said during Friday’s conference committee. “It also fully funds the general and capital reserve fund at $1.1 billion.”

Peeler said the spending plan also increases teachers’ annual pay to $47,000 from $42,500.

On the transportation front, the proposed budget includes $200 million for bridge repair and $200 million for county transportation committees.

“You’ve heard me say this before: With that much money to go into our county transportation committees, we should not have potholes in our district,” Peeler said. “If you continue to have potholes in your district, you need to take a look at your county transportation committee. They’re not doing their work.”