Tag Archives: surplus

Few S.C. bridges fixed with gas-tax-hike money

July 9, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Only three bridge projects have been completed in South Carolina with the nearly $2 billion in revenues collected under the 2017 state gas-tax-hike law, recently released transportation department records show. And although the S.C. Department of Transportation has identified 465 out of 750 “structurally deficient” bridges statewide to be replaced, other agency […]

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Earmark secrecy continues as state budget goes into effect

June 30, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In vetoing 226 budget earmarks totaling $152.5 million, Gov. Henry McMaster last week wrote that the “bulk of these earmarked appropriations still lack sufficient context, description, explanation of merit, or justification as to how the recipient intends to spend the funds.” That might be one of the biggest understatements on how lawmakers […]

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Lawmakers approve massive state budget stuffed with pork projects

June 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Lawmakers on Monday sent a strong message in adopting a state budget for the fiscal year that starts next week. Let the spending party begin – with your tax dollars. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved a $32.3 billion total budget for fiscal 2022, which includes state, federal and “other” funds, budget records show. […]

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House poised to spend millions more on pork projects

June 8, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House this week could pass a revised version of the fiscal 2022 state budget, which includes $1.8 billion in “new” state funding. But the total $32.1 billion budget version passed last week by the House Ways and Means Committee doesn’t authorize any refunds to state taxpayers. Budget writers, however, designated […]

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SCDOT says it will fix nearly 1,000 more miles of bad roads. More empty promises?

May 27, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Motorists likely will feel plenty of bumps this Memorial Day weekend as they drive over South Carolina’s seemingly endless pothole-riddled roads. Since the state gas-tax-hike law took effect nearly four years ago, The Nerve has repeatedly pointed out the S.C. Department of Transportation’s relatively slow pace of completing paving projects while sitting […]

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Millions more proposed for Senate, House chambers under state spending plan

May 12, 2021

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SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT The Senate’s version of the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes more than $1.2 billion in surplus money, though none of it would be refunded to taxpayers. Instead, senators would spend $4.2 million of the windfall on its own chamber and give another $2.2 million from the surplus to the […]

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Gas-tax-hike piggy bank keeps growing fatter

April 30, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Through March, a special fund created with the state gas-tax-hike law had a cash balance of nearly $824 million and racked up more than $26 million in investment earnings on surpluses since July 2017, records show. The $823.8 million surplus in the “Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund” as of March 31 represented nearly […]

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Senators pushing plenty of pork projects through taxpayer-funded earmarks

April 28, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. senators want to spend nearly $108 million next fiscal year on dozens of pet projects by funneling the money through state agencies that typically didn’t request the public dollars. More than half of the $107.9 million in labeled earmarks for fiscal year 2022, which starts July 1, would be spent collectively […]

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Gas-tax-hike surplus expands by $250M in one year while road projects lag

March 3, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In just one year, the surplus from state gas-tax-hike revenues grew by more than a quarter of a billion dollars, or 50%, to $752 million as of Jan. 31, records show. The Nerve repeatedly has pointed out the growing reserve that the S.C. Department of Transportation has been sitting on since the […]

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Plenty of pork in governor’s proposed state spending plan

January 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In touting Gov. Henry McMaster’s proposed fiscal 2022 state budget, his office in a recent news release contended it “significantly invests in the state’s core functions of government” while “maintaining his commitment” to “fiscally responsible practices.” But although emergency spending in response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina likely will continue […]

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