Senate Finance Committee Advances Infrastructure Bill to Senate Floor

Bill Would Raise Gas Tax by 12 Cents Over Six Years

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- State senators on the finance committee advanced a funding plan for road repairs with a vote of 14 to 7. Under this plan South Carolina’s current 16 cent gas tax would rise to 28 cents by 2023.

The committee’s plan changes the House’s gas tax proposal from two cents every year for five years to two cents every year for six years, increasing the overall gas tax by 12 cents. The senate’s amendment requires an additional $260 million more than the House’s plan.

Although the vote passed in the committee, some Senators say this amendment will not provide enough funding for our broken roads.

“To get the state where it should be, we would need to appropriate and spend more money than the subcommittee proposed,” said Senator Vincent Sheheen.

Although senators are moving the bill forward, Governor McMaster has said raising the gas tax is not the answer.

SCDOT Secretary Christy Hall said state roads will benefit no matter where the funding comes from.

“Our priorities are the same, whether it’s federal funding or state funding. Our priorities remain as we articulated and that’s the rural roads safety program. Pavements, widening projects, longer freight network, bridge projects and the day to day maintenance that’s desperately needed for our roads, ” said Hall.