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No change in revenue projections means Senate panel gets no additional money to designate

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COLUMBIA, South Carolina — State economic advisers said Thursday their tax collection projections for South Carolina are on target.

The Board of Economic Advisors made no changes in its revenue projections. That means the Senate Finance Committee gets no additional money to spend as members craft their state budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1. The committee will finish its work after next week's legislative break.

Chief economist Frank Rainwater said the state's economic outlook is positive.

"Things are generally running on track," he told board members. "Overall, I think it's positive, but we could get a surprise one way or the other."

State coffers have $63 million more than estimated through March. But Rainwater said much of that is due to the timing of tax season this year. Personal income taxes are a major source of state revenue. The annual filing deadline was Tuesday. Refunds going out to taxpayers will bring earlier income tax estimates in line, Rainwater said.

Adjusting for that and other factors, such as additional lawsuit settlements, puts revenues at $27.5 million above estimates, he said.

The board does not meet again until May 21, two weeks before the legislative session is scheduled to end. That could be as the House and Senate are in negotiations to reach a compromise between their separate budget proposals.

The House passed its $7 billion budget plan for state taxes in March.

That was a month after the economic board adjusted revenues up by $108 million. That included $28 million recognized from a lawsuit settlement, as well as $80 million in lottery profits above earlier estimates.

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