Eckstrom: State revenue takes 6.4 percent plunge

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina's state revenue has taken a 6.4 percent plunge from similar numbers in 2009, State Comptroller Richard Eckstrom reported Friday.

Eckstrom says between July 1 and Feb. 28, South Carolina has taken in $247.7 million less than it had during the same time period in 2009.

The state comptroller issued the following statement on heels of the news:

"While the previous three months had shown very slight signs of improvement, there's still great uncertainty about the state's economy and revenue outlook, and February's steep drop in revenue reaffirms the need for state leaders to proceed with extreme caution with regard to spending.

Given this uncertainty, I'd advise state agencies to spend very, very carefully, and perhaps, out of an abundance of caution, consider leaving some funds unspent because of additional budget cuts that could still be necessary between now and the year end.

Similarly, budget writers in the General Assembly would do well to keep in mind this continued uncertainty as they put together spending plans for next year. While the Board of Economic Advisors had predicted February would be a tough month, the revenue drop was worse than expected, and serves to remind us that we could be a long way from the end of the road as far as our revenue shortfalls go."

Because budget-writers in the General Assembly are currently putting together a spending plan for next fiscal year, Eckstrom has also expressed his concerns in a letter to House and Senate budget-writers.

In February, the state brought in $65.7 million less than in 2009.

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