Economic numbers released Thursday showed plenty of positive signs for South Carolina.
Tax revenue in the state's general fund is now $421.8 million higher than the year-to-date estimate for the fiscal year, according to numbers released by South Carolina’s Board of Economic Advisors. Corporate sales tax led the way in April with a record $204.9 million collection, putting the state $104 million better than the year-to-date fiscal year estimate.
Tax revenue has grown 15.1% year over year, and revenue is 2.7% ahead of estimates. Corporate tax numbers are 88.2% above last year and 10.1% better than what was estimated.
“Today’s good news from the BEA – would have seemed impossible a year ago, yet here we are,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement. “The limited and fiscally conservative measures we took, combined with keeping our state open for business, has paid off. It’s proof that South Carolina is winning again. We must seize this opportunity to keep winning – with an educated and skilled workforce and regulatory environment that will attract new jobs and investment in the future.”
McMaster recently announced South Carolina would discontinue participation in federal pandemic unemployment incentives, starting June 30 and including the $300 weekly supplement.
The BEA’s report showed South Carolina’s unemployment rate was down to 4.8% in March compared with the country’s average rate of 6.2% in March and 5.7% in April. South Carolina has recovered 75.6% of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unemployment rate during the pandemic peaked in April 2020 at nearly 15% nationally and more than 11% in South Carolina.
“With an unemployment rate well below the national average and general fund revenue exceeding expectations by $421.8 million, it’s clear that South Carolina’s economy is strong,” McMaster said.
With a change in the tax filing deadline, it’s still uncertain what the impact of tax season will be.
Sales tax collection, however, is $55.6 million above estimates year to date. Accommodations taxes also were above estimates for April, a sign many have begun traveling more because of increased COVID-19 vaccination rates, according to the BEA.
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