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Gov. Sanford Unveils 2006-07 Executive Budget
January 5, 2006

Contact: Joel Sawyer
[email protected]

Columbia, S.C. - January 4, 2006 - Gov. Mark Sanford today unveiled the third Executive Budget of his administration - a balanced, activity-based $5.9 billion spending plan for Fiscal Year 2006-07 that limits spending to population plus inflation, completes the repayment of trust and reserve funds, increases funding for core government functions such as education and law enforcement, and recommends better coordination of resources currently earmarked for early childhood education in order to address the school equity ruling handed down last week.

Of the $758 million in new money coming into the state this year, the governor's budget proposes spending roughly $607 million - just over 5.5 percent growth compared to the previous year. Gov. Sanford has proposed using the remaining $151 million for an income tax rebate to South Carolinians that could provide immediate property tax relief, or reduce the many burdens that families face ranging from higher energy costs to tuition increases - all made possible by limiting spending increases to population plus inflation.

"In talking about the need to limit government spending, what gets lost too often is the real impact it can have on families across South Carolina - in this case, it means $151 million that can be returned to the taxpayers of this state where it can be used to grow the economy and family budgets, instead of growing the government's budget," Gov. Sanford said. "I'd give the House and Senate great credit for their work on the various property tax proposals so far, but I believe it's important to note that this year we have the ability to provide property tax relief now - and our plan does that without raising any other taxes if we simply have the discipline to limit the size of the increase in state spending to just over 5.5 percent. Spending money based on outcomes also means we're able to fund core services and complete repayment of trust and reserve funds, both of which are all about providing taxpayers with the maximum return on their investment."

The governor's budget, which has been submitted to the South Carolina General Assembly, was crafted again this year following a lengthy series of public agency budget hearings. After the budget hearings, the governor and his staff worked with different "results teams" composed of state employees, board appointees, private citizens and issue advocates that were asked to rank roughly 1,600 different government activities in order of priority.   Over the past two years, the General Assembly has included over $160 million in savings to the taxpayers proposed in Gov. Sanford's executive budgets. This year's Executive Budget recommends roughly $113 million in suggested savings. 

A copy of the complete budget can be found at www.scgovernor.com. Also attached are a budget highlight sheet and a document on addressing education equity.


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