[image-1] South Carolina’s general fund revenues declined $400.1 million for April compared with the same coronavirus-free period in 2019, according to a Friday state revenue presentation.
But it’s possible that money will be made up as taxes are filed later, state Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Executive Director Frank Rainwater told the Board of Economic Advisers Friday morning.
In the teleconference call, the board only saw a slight downward revision to the 2020-2021 revenue forecast that will guide lawmakers’ budget writing. Last month, the board lowered revenue estimates by $643.5 million. Now, an additional $58.3 million is expected to be lost from corporate income tax and corporate license tax, leaving lawmakers with about $9.5 billion to spend in 2020-2021 — and possibly only $60 million in surplus funds from the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Since March, lawmakers and economists have faced the reality that the state’s consecutive years of record surpluses have ended, and that the House-approved budget that included millions for teacher pay raises no longer would reflect future revenues, which were projected in February to be $10.25 billion. The 2019-2020 fiscal year was originally projected to see a $567 million surplus.
The next meeting of the BEA is slated for June 11 to give an economic and revenue update. State lawmakers return to Columbia for special session on May 12.