Georgia, South Carolina get good news about state revenues
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia and South Carolina are both reporting windfalls in revenue.
The Peach State’s net tax collections for March totaled nearly $1.90 billion for an increase of almost $67 million, or 3.7 percent, compared to March 2020, when net tax collections totaled $1.83 billion.
Year-to-date, total net tax collections approached $18.94 billion, for an increase of roughly $1.55 billion, or 8.9 percent, compared to Fiscal Year 2020, when net tax revenues totaled $17.39 billion after nine months.
The deferred start of individual income tax return processing – concurrent with the Internal Revenue Service guidance that directed the acceptance and processing of 2020 returns beginning Feb. 12 – contributed significantly to the situation, state officials reported.
State economists have discovered $1.7 billion in additional revenue that will be added to the budget currently being prepared by the Legislature.
“What has happened is a lot of folks have stayed at home. There’s been a lot of stimulus money flowing to the state to prop up the economy and our state’s economists have now certified that the state will have a windfall of about $1.7 billion in collections of revenue over what we did last year,” state Sen. Larry Grooms said. “There is likely going to be a mad scramble over how we are going to spend $1.7 billion.”
While that money could go toward salaries or bolstering existing programs, Grooms says he wants to see it go toward one-time expenses.
“I am advocating caution and the use of conservative principles in spending this money. We have a lot of one-time needs and that’s probably where we need to focus that money on,” Grooms said.
As the chairman of the transportation committee, Grooms would like to see some of the money go towards the Department of Transportation’s 10-year plan to improve the state’s roads and bridges.
“Aside from roads, we have a lot of deferred maintenance needs within our colleges and universities,” Grooms said. “There are a lot of buildings that need to be raised and rebuilt.”
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