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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Spending Plan

Jan 09, 2023 07:46PM ● By David Dykes

Gov. McMaster Announces FY 2023-2024 Executive Budget

Gov. Henry McMaster announced his Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Executive Budget.

As it has in past years the governor's budget prioritizes fiscal responsibility and wise, transformative investments in education, infrastructure, public safety, and provides tax relief for South Carolinians. 

For a copy of the governor's executive budget, along with his letter to the General Assembly and a detailed explanation of each allocation, click here. 

For a copy of a presentation outlining the governor's priorities, click here. 

Executive Budget Highlights: 

$500 million for rainy day fund 

"I ask the General Assembly to set aside an additional $500 million to voluntarily increase the rainy-day reserve fund minimum balance from 7% to 10%. By saving this money instead of spending it - something that served our state well during the recent pandemic - we will once again be prepared for any future economic uncertainties, should they arise."

$500 million for SCDOT (non-recurring). $300 million for I-73 Phase 1, $50 million for SCDOT (recurring) 

"The Department of Transportation (SCDOT) was allocated almost $1 billion last year to accelerate and jump start construction, expansion, or improvements to our State-owned roads, bridges, highways, and to widen interstates. This year, my Executive Budget provides an additional $850 million to expedite the start and completion of SCDOT projects that will relieve traffic congestion, repair, or replace over 400 bridges, and to enhance repaving and resurfacing on our local and secondary roads."

$500 million for Economic Development Commitments and $200 million for Megasite Development and Acquisition 

"In addition, I recommend setting aside a significant amount of funds to re-invest in our state’s record-breaking economic development efforts, rather than borrowing it through the issuance of bonds. A one-time appropriation of $500 million will allow the Department of Commerce to satisfy all outstanding obligations and incentives without borrowing money. An additional one-time appropriation of $200 million will allow the department to identify and secure properties for future mega-site development."

$380 million, Rural Water and Sewer 

"In 2022, the state Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) received $800 million in ARPA funds to replace, repair, and consolidate our state's aging and outdated rural water, sewer, and stormwater infrastructure, through competitive grants. Demand exceeded supply, and RIA received grant applications in 2022 for almost $2 billion. I am recommending the General Assembly appropriate $380 million in remaining ARPA funds to RIA so that they may continue awarding these transformative grants."

$266 million for Conservation & Environment

"I am recommending that a total $266 million be appropriated to the Conservation Land Bank, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Office of Resilience, for the purpose of identifying and preserving culturally or environmentally significant properties and tracts in which public access is in jeopardy of being lost forever due to development, mismanagement, flooding, erosion or from storm damage."

$254 million for State Aid to Classrooms 

"In addition, my Executive Budget provides every eligible public-school teacher for school year 2023-2024 with a $2,500 retention supplement, half in December and the other half in May.

Until last year, South Carolina’s system for funding K-12 education was archaic and confusing, a piecemeal system consisting of 29 separate line-item appropriations. Now, a consolidated formula makes sure that funding follows the child. It keeps pace with student enrollments and provides financial resources to support a state average student-teacher ratio of 11.2 students per teacher with an average teacher salary including fringe benefits of $72,991. This Executive Budget also increases State Aid to Classrooms by $254 million."

$132.5 million for Teacher Retention Bonus 

"In addition, my Executive Budget provides every eligible public-school teacher for school year 2023-2024 with a $2,500 retention supplement, half in December and the other half in May."

$121.5 million for the State Health Plan and Free OBGYN Visit 

"I am also recommending there be no increase in premiums for State Health Plan participants and that we add an annual OBGYN exam for all females covered by the State Health Plan at no additional cost, similar to the existing no-cost adult wellness visit that was added two years ago."

$100 million for Need-based and Tuition Grants 

"Also, I propose providing $80 million so that every South Carolinian who qualifies for federal need-based financial aid - as measured by federal Pell Grants - has sufficient state financial assistance to attend any in-state public college, university, or technical college. Students at private, independent, and historically black colleges and universities will receive an additional $20 million for tuition grants and assistance." 

$87 million Income Tax Cut

"Until recently, South Carolina had the highest personal income tax rate in the southeast and the 12th highest in the nation. No more. Last year, I was honored to sign into law the largest income tax cut in state history and, as such, my executive budget recognizes this year’s $87.5 million scheduled cut to the income tax rate."

$78 million for Workforce Scholarships for the Future

"To address the historic labor crisis affecting key sectors of South Carolina’s economy, I am requesting that the General Assembly invest an additional $78 million in lottery funds to expand Workforce Scholarships for the Future through the South Carolina Technical College System."

$78 million for State Employee Pay Raises 

"Our booming economy sometimes puts state agencies at a disadvantage with the private sector – when they are recruiting employees or trying to retain good employees. My Executive Budget provides $78 million for recruitment and retention salary increases for state employees; $2 million for a one-time $2,500 sign on bonus for new first time state government hires; and $2 million to the Department of Administration to assist state agencies with marketing and advertising for hard to fill positions."

$45 million for Mental Health Professionals and services

"It’s been very clear that a mental health crisis exists in South Carolina following the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the growing demand for mental and behavioral health services, I am recommending an allocation of nearly $45 million to the Department of Mental Health. These funds will support the agency’s ability to recruit and retain mental health professionals, provide inpatient services, increase access to crisis continuum of care services such as suicide prevention hotlines including one specifically for veterans, and community-based treatment services."

$43 million for Tuition Freeze 

"This Executive Budget marks the fourth consecutive year that I have proposed the General Assembly freeze college tuition for in-state students, with an appropriation to our institutions of higher education of $43 million. This represents the 5.2% increase in the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) for 2022 and is based on the number of in-state students enrolled at each public institution."

$38.4 million for First Responders Income Tax Credit 

"I am also proposing a $2,000 state income tax credit for every active-duty law enforcement officer, firefighter, first responder, and emergency medical technician employed by a public entity. This nonrefundable tax credit will provide a total of $38.4 million in income tax relief for those who put their lives on the line each day to protect and serve the public."

$27.3 million for School Resource Officers 

"Placing an armed, certified school resource officer (SRO) in every school, in every county, all day, every day, has been one of my top priorities as governor. At my request, the General Assembly began funding a grant program administered by the Department of Public Safety, to provide school districts with funds to hire more resource officers for our state’s 1,283 public schools. The grant program has been very successful and has more than doubled the number of officers assigned to a school, going from 406 in 2018 to 982 in 2022. I am recommending an additional $27.3 million appropriation for the SRO grant program in FY 2023-24. This will add an officer in 188 schools currently without an assigned SRO."

$25 million for Education Scholarship Accounts 

"In addition, this Executive Budget provides $25 million in lottery dollars for the creation of education scholarship accounts (ESAs), pending a change in the law by the General Assembly. These funds will allow low-income parents to choose the type of education environment and instruction that best suits their child’s unique needs."

$21.5 million for Law Enforcement Pay Raises 

"Thanks to the comprehensive compensation review conducted by the Department of Administration, our state law enforcement and criminal justice agencies have begun to stem the tide of personnel loss with $40 million in recruitment and retention pay raises provided in last year’s General Appropriations Act. I am proposing that we build on this momentum by providing an additional $21.5 million for recruitment and retention pay raises in FY 23-24."

$5 million for Health Agencies' Restructuring Study and Plan 

"My Executive Budget includes a $5 million appropriation to the Department of Administration for the purpose of procuring the professional expertise necessary to analyze and provide the General Assembly, by June 30, 2024, with a comprehensive plan to restructure services provided by the Department of Mental Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Health and Environmental Control, among others."

$3.5 million for New Training Center at SLED

"To train our state’s SROs, I recommend providing the State Law Enforcement Division with $3.5 million to create the Center for School Safety and Targeted Violence. Located at the old Gilbert Elementary School, this partnership with Lexington School District One will provide a state-of-the-art training center for law enforcement and school personnel from around the state."

IRS Completes Corrections of Tax Year 2020 Accounts Related to Unemployment Compensation Exclusion

The Internal Revenue Service recently completed the final corrections of tax year 2020 accounts for taxpayers who overpaid their taxes on unemployment compensation they received in 2020.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law in March 2021, excluded up to $10,200 in 2020 unemployment compensation from taxable income calculations (up to $10,200 for each spouse if married filing joint).

The exclusion applied to individuals and married couples whose modified adjusted gross income was less than $150,000.

To ease the burden on taxpayers, the IRS took steps to review the Forms 1040 and 1040SR that were filed prior to the law's enactment to identify taxpayers who had already reported unemployment compensation as income and were eligible for the correction.

The IRS determined the correct taxable amount of unemployment compensation and tax.

 Some taxpayers received refunds, while others had the overpayment applied to taxes due or other debts. In some cases, the exclusion only resulted in a reduction in their adjusted gross income.

The IRS mailed a letter to these taxpayers to inform them of the corrections. Taxpayers should keep that letter with their tax records.

The IRS corrected approximately 14 million returns. This resulted in nearly 12 million refunds totaling $14.8 billion, with an average refund of $1,232.

 Many of the adjustments included corrections to the:

 Earned Income Tax Credit

Recovery Rebate Credit

Additional Child Tax Credit

American Opportunity Tax Credit

Premium Tax Credit

Advance Premium Tax Credit.

 If a taxpayer is eligible for the unemployment compensation exclusion and their account wasn’t corrected by the IRS, they may need to file an amended 2020 tax return to claim the exclusion and any applicable non-refundable or refundable credits impacted by the exclusion.

 Taxpayers should not file an amended return if they previously filed one claiming the exclusion. For more information about this, including eligibility requirements, taxpayers should read the 2020 Unemployment Compensation Exclusion FAQs on

 If they do need to amend tax year 2020 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR, taxpayers can file Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, electronically with tax filing software.

 Taxpayers can view their 2020 tax records in their Online Account or request that a 2020 tax account transcript be mailed to them.

Carolinas AGC Announces 2023 Board of Directors

Carolinas AGC (CAGC) announced the 2023 board of directors. The CAGC board is made up of the following members:

 Chair: Mark Johnnie, Balfour Beatty

Chair Elect: Dean Wilson, Hood Construction Company, Inc.

Treasurer: Ty Edmondson, T.A. Loving Company

Vice Chair: Lynn Hansen, Crowder Constructors, Charlotte NC

Past Chair: Charlie Wilson, C.T. Wilson Construction Company

Highway/Heavy Chair: Marty McKee, King Asphalt

Building Chair: Chris Smith, Beverly-Grant

Utility Chair: Derrick Morgan, State Utilities

Specialty Chair: Daniel Poaps, Palmetto Concrete Group

Supplier Chair: Geric Potts, Jarco Supply

At Large 3yr: Jim Roberts, Langston Construction

At Large 2yr: Jonathan Bivens, S.T. Wooten

At Large 1yr: Beth Muter, Muter Construction

Specialty/Supplier Director: Sherita Evan, Southern Commercial Development
Young Leader Director: Paul Edwards, Reeves


Carolinas AGC is the construction industry association in the Carolinas.

Fifth Third: How to Avoid Becoming Victim of Check Washing

When it comes to protecting your money, there seem to be new – and old – ways to scam people. One of those scams is check washing. Fifth Third Bank has tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

 What is check washing?

Check washing is when thieves steal checks from mailboxes and mail carriers. Once the thieves have the checks in hand, they use common household cleaning products such as bleach or acetone to remove all the information on the check — except for the signature.

Then, the thieves change the payee names and dollar amounts to fraudulently deposit the checks into their own account or sell them to other fraudsters. Once a thief has access to your check, they have access to your account.

 How can you avoid becoming a victim?

To help keep you and your accounts protected from check washing, it’s important to check your accounts often – you can do that through online banking or a mobile app.

If you must use the mail to send checks:

Be sure to check your mailbox and get your mail frequently.

Have the post office hold your mail while you’re on vacation.

If you’re the one mailing a check, consider walking it directly into the post office.

 Alternatives to check

There are several alternative, more secure ways to make or receive payments, which can help protect you from check washing and other scams.

Online bill pay: It’s not just for utilities. Payments can be issued either electronically or in the form of a check.

Credit card: It’s worth checking to see if you’re able to pay a different way, perhaps with a credit card.

A money order or cashier’s check: Neither of these will expose your account number like a check will.

 Fifth Third Bank recommend its customers contact Fifth Third Bank to report suspected fraud by calling the call center (800-972-3030) or visiting their local Fifth Third financial center.

 Fifth Third Bank, National Association is a federally chartered institution. Fifth Third Bancorp is the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank and its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." 

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