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Rising Gas Tax Allows SC DOT to Dramatically Increase Road Improvements

Sign for I-385/I-85 interchange
Russ McKinney
SC Public Radio

The tax paid on a gallon of gasoline in the state increases by two cents this July 1 putting it at just under 27 cents-per- gallon. It marks the fifth year of a six year, phased-in 12 cents a gallon increase in the gas tax to generate more money for highway and bridge improvements. That infusion of money has allowed the State Department of Transportation to dramatically increase its’ work program.

However, South Carolina is one of the fastest growing states in the country meaning more cars and trucks on the road. It also means more congestion, and wear and tear on roads. While the more you drive the more you pay has been the default method to fund the highway system, state officials are beginning to realize that their projection of gas tax revenue is already beginning to erode thanks to more cars and trucks using the highway system, better fuel economy vehicles, and the introduction of electric cars.

Russ McKinney has 30 years of experience in radio news and public affairs. He is a former broadcast news reporter in Spartanburg, Columbia and Atlanta. He served as Press Secretary to former S.C. Governor Dick Riley for two terms, and for 20 years was the chief public affairs officer for the University of South Carolina.