SC deficit cut to $700 million

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COLUMBIA - Tax collections and spending cuts have helped drop South Carolina's budget deficit closer to $700 million, down from an earlier forecast of $829 million.

On Wednesday, the state's Board of Economic Advisors cited increased individual and corporate income tax collections as it added $100 million to the state's revenue forecast for the budget year beginning in July. The panel also said the state's current budget year tax collections were running about $50 million ahead of estimates.

That extra cash comes after agencies this week said they'd cut deficit projections by more than $30 million.

Much of the deficit remains tied to the state's Medicaid health program for the disabled, elderly and poor. The Department of Health and Human Services projects a $663 million shortfall for the new budget year.

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