Comments are Open Until July 1 for New Draft of W-4 Withholding Form

The IRS and the Treasury Department have released it latest draft of the W-4 withholding form to incorporate changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Rather than being based on withholding allowances and personal exemptions, it asks taxpayers about income from multiple jobs and other income not automatically subject to withholding, and to claim any dependents. A new form will be applicable in 2020, although taxpayers can still elect to rely on their current withholding. Comments about this draft can be submitted to WI.W4.Comments@IRS.gov by July 1, in preparation for a near-final draft to be ready by mid-to-late July. You can read FAQs on the early release of the 2020 Form W-4 here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-on-the-early-release-of-the-2020-form-w-4

South Carolina Set to Receive Millions in Federal Disaster Relief for 2018 Storms

The U.S. House approved a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill by a vote of 354-58, and South Carolina is among the states that qualify for federal grant programs to recover from hurricanes Florence and Michael. It also means the state budget will not have to dip into an emergency $25 million set for farm aid during the months of Capitol Hill negotiations, as SC farmers are now eligible for a $3 billion federal farm aid fund.

SC Rural Infrastructure Authority OKs $12M in Sewer, Water Grants

More than two dozen communities are slated for improvements to their sewer and water systems thanks to $12 million in grant assistance from the S.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority. The town of Batesburg-Leesville led the list of 26 towns, cities and counties with $800,000 set for sewer system improvements. With this second round of grants, there are 54 awarded projects in 2019 with $25.7 million in grants.

GasBuddy Forecast for Prices in the South is Under $2 Per Gallon

While South Carolina’s average price for a gallon of gas was reported at $2.46 after the Memorial Day weekend, and Columbia-area prices were in the $2.25 range this week, a tech company that monitors real-time fuel prices predicts prices in the South are on pace to drop below $2 per gallon. “Oil prices have plummeted nearly $14 in the last 8 weeks,” notes GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick DeHaan. Stoking the volatility are President Donald Trump’s tariff threats against Mexico and China, DeHaan says, and higher prices could return if tariffs are avoided, but “for now, it’s going to be a big win at the gas pump.” Gas in Anderson was priced as low as $2.08 on Tuesday.