COLUMBIA — The state finished the 2013 fiscal year that ended June 30 on a positive note. The state’s Rainy Day Fund has increased to $281.6 million, representing 5 percent of the prior year’s General Fund revenues.
The S.C. Constitution was amended in 2011 to require that the minimum balance in the Rainy Day Fund be increased over four years from 3 percent of prior year’s General Fund revenues to 5 percent in annual increments of 0.5 percent. The state reached this 5 percent level of funding two year’s ahead of schedule.
The Capital Reserve account, containing $112.7 million, is also fully funded at 2 percent of prior year’s General Fund revenues. In addition, because of surplus revenues, $68.3 million will be available to transfer to the state’s Contingency Reserve Fund.
The state General Fund generated tax and fee revenues of $6.4 billion for the year and spent $6.2 billion. In addition to amounts spent, state agencies were allowed to carry over $381.1 million of unspent 2013 appropriations for use in the current fiscal year.
State revenues generated this fiscal year grew by $525.1 million (8.2 percent increase) over prior year’s revenues. Yet in spite of improved economic conditions, the state has continuing challenges with funding retirement benefits. It faces funding shortfalls of about $14 billion in its pension benefit plans and $10 billion in its retiree health benefit plan. Renewed focus and commitment will be needed to satisfy these major obligations.