By Jessica Brodie
As the South Carolina Conference gears up for the close of another budget year, conference financial leaders are hoping to achieve as close as possible to the 2023 budgeted goal of $15.6 million.
As of Oct. 17, the total apportionment percentage is 65.97 collected this year, compared to last year’s 62.42 percent.
“The reason we are ahead of last year at this point is because the churches that separated as of June 30, 2023, had to pay 100 percent of their 2023 apportionments as part of the separation fee,” said Beth Westbury, treasurer and director of administrative services for the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. “The apportionments were recorded in August. Thus, all the separating churches had paid 100 percent of their 2023 apportionments as of August. Under different circumstances, these churches would not have been at 100 percent so early in the year.”
Westbury noted the Columbia District is leading the conference’s districts in percentage collected as of Oct. 17 with 74.95 percent. The Walterboro District is in second place, with 69.2 percent, and the Greenville District is in third with 68.2 percent.
Westbury said she expects the conference will achieve around 90 percent collection of apportionments in 2023, as the percentage in recent years has been in the high 80s to the low 90s.
Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, is the last day to pay apportionments. Payments must be in the treasurer’s office by 4 p.m. that day. If the church is paying electronically through Vanco, the payment must be initiated by 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024 to allow time for payments in process to clear and for staff to prepare for the 2024 year. The treasurer’s office strongly encourages churches to make all apportionment payments using Vanco because of the recent mail delivery problems it has experienced. Information about paying by Vanco can be found at https://www.umcsc.org/apportionments.
The 2024 budget is $13.2 million.