South Carolina is likely to once again accrue budget surpluses after years of decline, state economists said Thursday, as tax revenues rebound with more people heading back to work.
The Board of Economic Advisors said the state could end the fiscal year in two weeks with a $100 million surplus, a trend that could mean hundreds of millions more for next year's state budget. State revenues have beaten estimates by $50 million in each of the past two months, said BEA chairman John Rainey, or $600 million at an annualized rate if the trend continues.
"That's real economic growth," said Don Herriott, a former pharmaceutical executive now heading the University of South Carolina’s Innovista research campus initiative. "We're on the upswing. How fast? We don't know yet."
Rainey said the panel could add money to the state budget later this summer if the trend isn’t a “fluke.”
“Next year could be a pleasant surprise,” he said. “Could be.”
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