Gov. Henry McMaster delivers first state of the state address as elected governor

COLUMBIA,SC (WOLO)- Governor Henry McMaster stood before legislators Wednesday night at the state house for his first address as elected Governor.

McMaster raved  about the successes the state has seen since he’s been in office.

“In the last two years, we have announced over $8 billion dollars in new capital investment and more than 27,000 new jobs,” McMaster said. “Our unemployment rate just hit an all-time low. More people are working than ever.”

McMaster said it has taken years for the state to get where it is now, but South Carolina still has work to do when it comes to taxes.

“We have the highest marginal income tax rate in the southeast – the 12th highest in the nation,” McMaster said. “Seven states have no income tax at all. Taxes of all kinds at all levels add up – little by little – to smother growth. Beating the competition requires reforming our state’s marginal income and corporate tax rates. ”

The governor proposed a $2.2 billion tax cut resulting in an average 15% rate reduction.

When  it comes to education, McMaster says it’s time to invest in our teachers.

“My executive budget calls for a 5% teacher pay raise totaling $155 million dollars,” McMaster said. “This will increase the average teacher salaries above the southeastern average.”

McMaster says teachers are not the only ones who need help, so do college students.

“I am proposing a one-year freeze on tuition and fees for in-state students at our public technical colleges, four-year colleges and research universities for the 2019-2020 academic year,” McMaster said.

McMaster also said we will not have offshore drilling in South Carolina. He also pledged to give $200 million in refunds to taxpayers.

“This year, our vigorous economy created a budget surplus,” McMaster said. “My executive budget sends $200 million of this surplus back to South Carolina taxpayers in the form of a one-time rebate check. Surpluses don’t mean we have to spend it all. A surplus allows us to prioritize the most critical needs in state government and then return the rest to the taxpayers!”

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