South Carolina state budget
Energy policy • Public education • School choice • Public pensions • State budget • Ballot measures
|South Carolina state budget|
|State Credit Rating:||AA+ (as of May 2012)|
|Current Governor:||Nikki Haley|
|GF expenses:||$6.350 billion (estimated for FY 2013)|
|All funds expenses:||$22.300 billion (estimated for FY 2013)|
|Spending % Change:||0.96%|
|% from Federal Funding:||33.3%|
|Per Capita State Debt:||$15,053|
|Other state budgets|
|Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming|
- 1 Budget process
- 2 Expenditures
- 3 Revenues
- 4 State budgets by year
- 5 Historical spending
- 6 State debt
- 7 Federal aid to state budget
- 8 Budget transparency
- 9 Accounting principles
- 10 External links
- 11 See also
- 12 Contact
- 13 References
- A summary of the budget drafting process
- Trends in revenues and expenditures
- Current fiscal year budget developments
- Financial transparency measures
Between fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2013, South Carolina's total expenditures increased by approximately $1.534 billion, from $20.766 billion in 2009 to $22.300 billion in 2013. This represents a 7.39 percent increase, below the cumulative rate of inflation during the same period (9.06 percent, calculated using the Consumer Price Indices for January 2009 and January 2013).
- In July and August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
- In September, agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
- Budget hearings are held with state agencies in September and October.
- In January the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature.
- Both the House and the Senate pass a budget. If these versions do not match, a conference committee consisting of both House and Senate members is assembled to reconcile the differences.
- The legislature must pass a budget with a simple majority by the beginning of the fiscal year, which is July 1. The governor may exercise line item veto power on the enacted budget.
The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. In turn, the legislature must pass a balanced budget, and any budget signed into law by the governor must be balanced.
A rainy day fund, the General Reserve Fund, must maintain a balance equaling three percent of General Fund revenue. Rainy day funds may be withdrawn only for the purpose of covering operating deficits.
There are three primary entities that drive the state budget process. The Governor of South Carolina, chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. As of February 2014, those individuals are:
- Governor: Nikki Haley (R)
- Senate Finance Chair: Hugh Leatherman (R)
- House Ways and Means Chair: Brian White (R)
Although each state executes its budget process differently, the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) breaks down state expenditures into four general categories. This allows for comparisons among the 50 states. NASBO's categories are as follows:
- General fund: "The predominant fund for financing a state’s operations. Revenues are received from broad-based state taxes. However, there are differences in how specific functions are financed from state to state."
- Other funds: "Expenditures from revenue sources that are restricted by law for particular governmental functions or activities. For example, a gasoline tax dedicated to a highway trust fund would appear in the “Other funds” column. For Medicaid, other state funds include provider taxes, fees, donations, assessments, and local funds."
- Federal funds: "Funds received directly from the federal government."
- Bonds: "Expenditures from the sale of bonds, generally for capital projects."
The table below breaks down expenditures for fiscal year 2013 (comparable figures from surrounding states are provided to give additional context). Figures for all columns except "Per capita expenditures" are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000). Figures in the column labeled "Per capita expenditures" have not been abbreviated.
|Total state expenditures, FY 2013 ($ in millions)|
|State||General fund||Federal funds||Other funds||Bonds||Total||Per capita expenditures|
| Per capita figures are calculated by taking the state's total expenditures and dividing by the number of state residents according to United States Census estimates.|
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers
Expenditures by function
State expenditures in South Carolina can be further broken down by function (elementary and secondary education, public assistance, etc.). Fiscal year 2012 data is included in the table below (information from neighboring states is provided for additional context). Figures are rendered as percents, indicating the share of the total budget spent per category.
|Expenditures by function, FY 2012 (as percents)|
|State||Elementary and secondary ed.||Higher ed.||Public assistance||Medicaid||Corrections||Transportation||Other|
|Source: National Association of State Budget Officers|
Between 2008 and 2012, state expenditures for elementary and secondary education fell by nearly three percentage points, or 15.4 percent, as a share of the budget. During the same period, spending on higher education and Medicaid saw modest increases. The table below details changes in expenditures from 2008 to 2012. Fiscal year 2012 data is included in the table below. Figures are rendered as percents, indicating the share of the total budget spent per category.
|Expenditures from 2008 to 2012 (as percents)|
|Year||Elementary and secondary ed.||Higher ed.||Public assistance||Medicaid||Corrections||Transportation||Other|
|Change in %||-2.9%||0.4%||0%||0.6%||-0.3%||-0.9%||3.1%|
|Source: National Association of State Budget Officers|
The table below breaks down general fund revenues by source in fiscal year 2013 (comparable figures from surrounding states are also provided to give additional context). Figures for all columns except "Per capita revenue" are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000). Figures in the column labeled "Per capita revenue" have not been abbreviated.
|Revenue sources in the general fund, FY 2013 ($ in millions)|
|State||Sales tax||Personal income tax||Corporate income tax||Gaming tax||Other taxes and fees||Total||Per capita revenue**|
| Per capita figures are calculated by taking the state's total revenues and dividing by the number of state residents according to United States Census estimates for 2013.|
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers
In fiscal year 2013, personal income tax accounted for approximately 45 percent of all general fund revenues in South Carolina. Compared to the four neighboring states noted above, South Carolina's personal income tax to general fund ratio ranked fourth, behind 47 percent in Georgia, 53 percent in North Carolina, and 68 percent in Virginia.
The table below details the change in revenue sources in the general fund from 2009 to 2013. Figures for all columns except "Per capita revenue" are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000). Figures in the column labeled "Per capita revenue" have not been abbreviated.
|Revenue sources in the general fund, South Carolina ($ in millions)|
|Year||Sales tax||Personal income tax||Corporate income tax||Gaming tax||Other taxes and fees||Total||Per capita revenue**|
|Change in %||8.90%||20.16%||28.02%||N/A||-2.63%||12.75%||7.71%|
| Per capita figures are calculated by taking the state's total revenues and dividing by the number of state residents according to United States Census estimates.|
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers
State budgets by year
Fiscal year 2014
|South Carolina state budget -- 2014|
|South Carolina State Legislature|
|Text:||A101, R120, H3710|
|Introduced:||March 5, 2013|
|State House:||March 13, 2013|
|Vote (lower house):||116-1|
|State Senate:||May 28, 2013|
|Vote (upper house):||34-7|
|Conference:||June 19, 2013|
|Conference Vote (upper house):||39-5|
|Conference Vote (lower house):||54-52|
|Signed:||June 25, 2013|
The fiscal year 2014 budget was signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley on June 25, 2013. The $22.8 billion spending plan included a $6.7 billion General Fund, $7.6 billion in federal funds and $8.4 billion in other funds (e.g., grants, agency fees, fines, etc.). While the budget easily cleared the state Senate, it passed by only a two-vote margin in the House.
Budget opponents disapproved of the inclusion of tax credits for private school tuition, a lack of expanded Medicaid eligibility, and a failure to institute a cost-of-living wage increase for state employees. Supporters of the budget pointed to allocations for infrastructure improvement and expanded full-day pre-school programs.
Fiscal year 2013
- See also: South Carolina state budget (2012-2013)
Fiscal year 2012
- See also: South Carolina state budget (2011-2012)
Fiscal year 2011
- See also: South Carolina state budget (2010-2011)
Fiscal year 2010
- See also: South Carolina state budget (2009-2010)
State budget historical spending below was compiled by the National Association of State Budget Officers. Figures reflect the reported Total Expenditures in Table 1. Figures for all columns are rendered in millions of dollars (for example, $2,448 translates to $2,448,000,000).
|Historical state budget spending in South Carolina ($ in millions)|
|Fiscal year||General Fund||Other funds||Federal funds||Bonds||Budget totals|
|Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget|
|General Fund: The predominant fund for financing a state’s operations. Revenues are received from broad-based state taxes. However, there are differences in how specific functions are financed from state to state.|
Other funds: Expenditures from revenue sources that are restricted by law for particular governmental functions or activities. For example, a gasoline tax dedicated to a highway trust fund would appear in the “Other funds” column. For Medicaid, other state funds include provider taxes, fees, donations, assessments, and local funds.
Federal funds: Funds received directly from the federal government.
Bonds: Expenditures from the sale of bonds, generally for capital projects.
According to a January 2014 report by the nonprofit organization State Budget Solutions, South Carolina had a state debt of over $71 billion. Its state debt per capita was $15,053. The report revealed that state governments faced a combined $5.1 trillion in debt, 33 percent of annual gross state product. The obligation amounts to $16,178 per capita in the nation. A bulk of the state debt -- 79 percent -- was linked to unfunded public pensions.
|Total state debt in South Carolina|
|Total state debt||$71,105,557,000||23|
|Per capita debt||$15,053||23|
|State and other fund expenditures||$12,681,000,000||10|
At the close of 2012, South Carolina's public pension system had total estimated liabilities of $43.5 billion. Of these liabilities, roughly 67.8 percent were funded, meaning the pension system had total unfunded liabilities of approximately $13.9 billion.
States sometimes sell general obligation bonds to investors in order to finance large-scale undertakings (e.g., road construction and other public works projects). Credit rating agencies, such as Standard and Poor's, assign grades to states, evaluating their ability to pay the principal and interest on such bonds. Standard and Poor's grades range from AAA, the highest available, to BBB, the lowest. Generally speaking, a higher credit rating indicates lower risk for an investor, which in turn lowers costs for taxpayers.
The table below lists the Standard and Poor's credit rating for South Carolina from 2001 to 2012 (grades from surrounding states are provided for additional context).
|S&P credit ratings from 2001 to 2012|
|South Carolina||Georgia||North Carolina||Tennessee||Virginia|
Federal aid to state budget
- See also: Federal aid to budgets in the 50 states
The chart below notes how much of the state’s general revenues come from the federal government. Figures were calculated by dividing each state’s federal intergovernmental revenue into its general revenue. The number in the rightmost column indicates the state's ranking in relation to the rest of the nation (e.g., if "1," the state receives the highest percentage of federal funding in the nation). Figures from neighboring states are included to provide additional context.
State governments receive aid from the federal government to fund a variety of joint programs, such as Medicaid. Federal aid varies considerably from state to state. For example, Mississippi received approximately $7.7 billion in federal aid in 2012, which accounted for more than 45 percent of the state's general revenues. By contrast, Alaska received roughly $2.9 billion in federal aid in 2012, just under 20 percent of the state's general revenues.
|Federal aid to state budgets in 2012|
|State||Federal aid as % of general revenue||Total federal aid ($ in millions)||National rank|
South Carolina received $4.39 billion in federal stimulus funding between February 2009 and June 2013.
|Line item expenditures|
|Public employee salaries|
|Last evaluated in 2009.|
South Carolina Spending Transparency is the publicly available website created by the South Carolina government. It discloses information about South Carolina's spending, and is managed by the Comptroller. South Carolina's current Comptroller, Richard Eckstrom, has written extensively on the importance of state and local transparency. In December 2008, he wrote:
"Earlier this year, I worked with Gov. Mark Sanford to create an easy-to-use spending transparency website. It contains detailed spending information for more than 80 state agencies, giving the public more access than ever to information about how state government spends its hard-earned tax dollars. This website, which is available through my office’s site (www.cg.sc.gov), is serving as a national model for other states attempting their own transparency initiatives. Several states have contacted me hoping to duplicate our open-government ideas."
South Carolina Spending Transparency provides a searchable expenditures database.
The table to the right is helpful in evaluating the accessibility and scope of the information provided by the South Carolina Spending Transparency page.
Support for creation of the database
Governor Mark Sanford signed South Carolina Executive Order 2007-14 on August 30, 2007. The order required the Comptroller to compile and disclose information concerning how the state agencies of South Carolina allocate revenues.
In 2012, 13 state agencies pushed to make 65 separate accounts exempt from oversight, meaning that the money in those accounts could only be reviewed by people inside the agency. Agencies are allowed to apply for such status with the Budget and Control Board if "release of the information would be detrimental to the state or agency."
Multi-measure budget transparency profile
The Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois created a multi-measure transparency profile for South Carolina, which measured state transparency as of September 2011 using indicators from a range of organizations. These indicators measured both website transparency and other recognized facets of governmental transparency. In addition, IGPA presented four unique indicators of non-transparency based on the observation that transfers or reassignments between general and special funds can obscure the true fiscal condition of a state.
IGPA devised a budget transparency index based on information available from the National Association of State Budget Officers. South Carolina tied for eighth in the nation with 11 other states, earning six out of eight possible points.
|South Carolina - IGPA score for budget process, contents and disclosure|
|Budget transparency indicator||Yes or no?|
|"Generally Accepted Accounting Principles" budget|
|Binding revenue forecast|
|Legislative revenue forecast|
|Constitution or statutory tax/spend limitations|
In addition to the individual state profile, IGPA offers a 50-state comparison and profiles for other states.
U.S. PIRG "Following the Money" report
- See also: Following the Money 2014 Report
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, South Carolina received a grade of D+ and a numerical score of 63, indicating that South Carolina was "lagging" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
The nonprofit organization State Budget Solutions released a report in January 2014 detailing what it calls budget gimmicks used by the states. The report is meant to highlight situations where states hide spending or misuse funds for purposes different from which they were initially intended. According to the report, South Carolina received funding as part of the National Mortgage Settlement in February 2012. The funds were supposed to be used to provide some restitution to homeowners who lost equity in the market collapse or lost their homes during foreclosure scandals. South Carolina was one of six states which did not direct any of the funds toward the agreed-upon uses.
The South Carolina State Auditor performs financial audits of state agencies, the annual financial audit of the State's General Purpose Financial Statements, and the annual Single Audit of the State's Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Funds. The audit reports are published online.
The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rates South Carolina “timely” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) -– the annual financial report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 22 states "timely," 22 states "tardy," and 6 states as "worst." IFTA does not consider South Carolina's CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis does not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care. South Carolina's CAFRs are annual publications of the South Carolina Comptroller General, the state's top accountant. The Comptroller General is responsible for supervising state spending, keeping the state's books and maintaining accounting controls over state agencies. Richard Eckstrom has served as Comptroller General since 2002.
- State Budget Solutions, South Carolina
- South Carolina Policy Council
- South Carolinians for Responsible Government
- South Carolina Spending Transparency -- official website
- South Carolina Budget and Control Board -- official website
- South Carolina state website
- South Carolina Legislature
- South Carolina state budget bills
- U.S. PIRG, "Report: Transparent & Accountable Budgets," April 8, 2014
- The New York Times, "Battles loom in many states over what to do with budget surpluses," February 3, 2014
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Policy Basics: The ABCs of State Budgets," February 7, 2013
- South Carolina government sector lobbying
- South Carolina public pensions
- South Carolina State Legislature
- South Carolina Governor
- South Carolina State Senate
- South Carolina House of Representatives
South Carolina Office of State Budget
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 529
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
- Refers to General Fund spending. Typically in state budgets the General Fund is spending that is most directly controlled by state legislators.
- This figure is derived by calculating the percent difference between the prior two years' spending levels according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, "CPI Detailed Report Data for February 2014," accessed April 9, 2014
- InflationData.com, "Cumulative Inflation Calculator," February 28, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- South Carolina Budget and Control Board, "State Budget - FAQ," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "Gubernatorial Veto Authority with Respect to Major Budget Bill(s)," accessed March 2, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013," accessed February 26, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Vintage 2009: Annual Population Estimates," accessed February 26, 2014
- The Times and Democrat, "S.C. General Assembly passes 2013-2014 budget compromise," June 20, 2013
- State Budget Solutions, "State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report," January 8, 2014
- Washington Examiner, "EXography: Unfunded public employee pensions drive state debts skyward," January 21, 2014
- State Budget Solutions "State Budget Solutions' Fourth Annual State Debt Report," January 8, 2014
- South Carolina Retirement Systems 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report," accessed February 27, 2014
- Stateline: The Daily News Service of The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Infographic: S&P State Credit Ratings, 2001-2012," July 13, 2012
- United States Census Bureau, "State Government Finances: 2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- Recovery.gov, "Stimulus Spending by State," accessed February 21, 2014
- The Herald-Journal, "Urge local governments to put spending information online," December 28, 2008
- South Carolina Spending Transparency Database, "Home page," accessed February 21, 2014
- Institute of Government and Public Affairs at University of Illinois, "Home page," accessed February 21, 2014
- Institute of Government and Public Affairs at University of Illinois, "South Carolina: Budget Transparency Profile," September 2011
- Institute of Government and Public Affairs at University of Illinois, "Budget Transparency Profiles - All 50 States," September 2011
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- State Budget Solutions, "The worst state budget gimmicks of 2013," January 3, 2014
- Washington Examiner, "EXography: States use gimmicks, late payments and other accounting tricks to meet balanced budget requirements," February 18, 2014
- South Carolina Office of the State Auditor, "Home page," accessed November 11, 2009
- Institute for Truth in Accounting “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 35
- South Carolina Comptroller General, "Home page," accessed November 11, 2009