SC Senators Consider Tying Gas Tax to Inflation to Fix Roads - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

SC Senators Consider Tying Gas Tax to Inflation to Fix Roads

Posted: Updated:

 

A special state Senate subcommittee trying to come up with a plan to pay for the state's road and bridge needs is considering tying the state gas tax to inflation. The state's tax of 16 cents a gallon hasn't increased since 1987 and is the third-lowest in the nation.

"We really have got to find a way to pay for the upkeep of our roads," says Sen. Joel Lourie, D-Columbia, one of the subcommittee members. "Nobody wants to pay for it but the money's not going to fall from the sky, so it's incumbent upon us to look at all our revenue streams and come up with a solution to do that."

Republicans are against raising the state gas tax, but the members of the subcommittee say this is not a tax increase; it's just indexing it to inflation so the tax remains the same relative to other prices.

"Had we done this 25 years ago, we wouldn't be in the condition we're in today," Sen. Lourie says.

The subcommittee is also looking at borrowing $1.3 billion dollars to go to roads and bridges. Part of that would come from the state paying off school construction bonds in 2015, freeing up some of the state's borrowing capacity. The plan would also move the money from the sales tax on cars and trucks into the State Infrastructure Bank, which would give it more borrowing capacity.

Dottie Sharpe, co-owner of the Lexington Driving Academy, says the condition of state roads is taking a toll on the six cars she uses to train drivers. "They do hit these potholes causing damages to our cars and, over a period of time, it adds up," she says.

She's already had to replace several rims and tires this year. When a pothole caused one tire to blow-out, the rubber hit the body of the car right behind the tire, damaging the body.

She doesn't like the idea of raising the gas tax, though, or even indexing it to inflation, since her business already goes through $3,000-$4,000 a month in gas. State economists estimate that the gas tax would go up by a total of four cents over ten years if it's indexed to inflation.

For a driver who averages 15,000 miles a year, if his car averages 15 miles per gallon, he would pay about $4 more a year for gas.

"If we don't fix the problems now, it's going to cost us even more in the long run. We all might just have to bite the bullet and just accept it," Sharpe says.

But getting the plan through the Statehouse will be difficult. The House earlier this year killed a bill that would have indexed the gas tax to inflation, but it also would have raised the gas tax outright. Gov. Nikki Haley has said repeatedly she will veto any gas tax increase.

  • Officer arrested for counterfeit money and speeding

    Officer arrested for counterfeit money and speeding

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:06 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:06:35 GMT
    Wednesday night around 1 a.m. a North Charleston Police Officer was arrested in North Charleston for possessing counterfeit money during a traffic stop.
    Wednesday night around 1 a.m. a North Charleston Police Officer was arrested in North Charleston for possessing counterfeit money during a traffic stop.
  • Charleston County Council to look at pay raises

    Charleston County Council to look at pay raises

    Charleston County Council to look at pay raises

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:24 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:24:53 GMT
    The Charleston County Council may approve the Council's first raise in more than 10 years, Thursday night.If the Council's Finance Committee approves the raise, The Chairman's salary would climb to just over $26,000 from $17,000.County Council members would see an increase from $14,000-$21,000.Raises would go into effect January 1, 2015.
    The Charleston County Council may approve the Council's first raise in more than 10 years, Thursday night.If the Council's Finance Committee approves the raise, The Chairman's salary would climb to just over $26,000 from $17,000.County Council members would see an increase from $14,000-$21,000.Raises would go into effect January 1, 2015.
  • Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

    Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

    Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:24 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:24:46 GMT
    ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, the official Algerian news agency said Thursday. Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 0155 GMT, the agency said. "In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan," the agency quoted the airline as saying. The flight path of Flight AH5017 from Ouagadougou, the cap...
    ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, the official Algerian news agency said Thursday. Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 0155 GMT, the agency said. "In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan," the agency quoted the airline as saying. The flight path of Flight AH5017 from Ouagadougou, the cap...
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.