5 Facts About the Gas Tax Increase

Posted by: Jason Zacher on Thursday, July 11, 2019

For years, South Carolinians joked and complained about the condition of our state’s roads. Now, three years after the General Assembly agreed on a solution, the state DOT is making good on its promise.

In our post-fact political discourse, the CAVE people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) are cherry-picking statistics that don’t give the full picture. Here are the facts:

  1. There is more than $3 billion in road work under construction across the state. Before the tax increase, there was only about $1 billion going on at any given time.
  2. Last month, the DOT Commission approved a new slate of projects worth nearly $500 million in all 46 counties. Of that total, 80 percent will be funded by the new gas tax law.
  3. In the 10-county Upstate region, there is $374.4 million in work completed or under construction as of May 31.
  4. South Carolina’s gas tax is still way below what is paid by drivers in North Carolina and Georgia. When these increases are fully implemented, our tax will be 28.75 cents per gallon, compared to 36.45 cents per gallon in North Carolina and 35.15 cents per gallon in Georgia.
  5. These fixes won’t happen overnight: 80% of the South Carolina’s 41,000+ miles of pavement need repair and to get the entire system to “good” will cost $11 billion. 

The South Carolina DOT is being completely transparent about the system. If you have questions about project lists, vendor payments, and which projects are currently under construction, check out:

Tax Increase Statements, Vendor Payments, & Project Lists

Projects Going on Across the State (Interactive Map)

Street Finder (Who is responsible for maintaining my road?)

The General Assembly made a remarkable leap to approve higher taxes for roads, and the DOT is getting the work done. To date, it is a success story that we need to replicate with other challenges facing our state.

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