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Gov. McMaster proposes cutting state taxes for all South Carolinians

Gov. Henry McMaster proposes cutting state taxes for all South Carolinians. (WACH)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - According to Gov. Henry McMaster, South Carolina's economy is on the rise.

On Monday, McMaster announced his executive budget for 2018-2019. McMaster wants to cut South Carolina's 7 percent income tax rate.

Right now, it's the highest rate in the Southeast. Over the next five years, McMaster's plan would cut income taxes by $2.2 billion and reduce the tax rate by 1 percent for every state income tax bracket.

The first year's cut would amount to $139 million. “When you go out and work and you work hard and you get your paycheck, that is your money," McMaster said. "The money that you are taxed is only supposed to be for certain things that are needed."

Last week, McMaster went public with another part of the plan that would exempt military veterans, retired first responders, state and local law enforcement, firefighters and peace officers from paying state taxes on retirement income. "The more money you take from the wage earner, the less the economy will grow," McMaster said. "The less there will be new jobs and we are getting in a downward cycle, right now we are on an upward cycle."

The tax cut plan would be phased in over five years, eventually totaling a little more than $2 billion. McMaster also included in the budget a $5 million program that would connect high schools, technical colleges, and businesses to meet job demands in the state.

The governor's proposals need to be approved by lawmakers. The State House gets back in session on Tuesday.

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