SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina gas tax increased to 22 cents per gallon on July 1. On Tuesday, News 2 looked into how that funding is being used to improve roads in Dorchester County.
The increase was the third of six planned increases that were implemented by state legislators in 2017. The funding is being used to conduct road resurfacing projects, bridge repairs, interstate improvements and rural road safety improvements throughout the state.
SCDOT Commissioner Robby Robbins said some of the road projects that have been/will be funded through the tax in Dorchester County, include:
- Resurfacing work on Dorchester Road from the Charleston County line to the Oakbrook area of Summerville
- The widening of Highway 61 to make it safer, where several fatal accidents have occurred (public meeting expected in August and letting possible in the fall)
- The repaving of roads in the town of Ridgeville
- The repaving on both ends of Wire Road
Other projects that have been/will be funded through the gas tax are available on the SCDOT website.
Robins says he believes the the gas tax increase has been a success.
“This has been a real shot in the arm,” said Robins. “The amount of work, right now, versus 2007 has been tripled.”
As of May 31, the gas tax increase has generated an additional $198 million. SCDOT has completed $71 million of road projects with that funding since 2017.
Robins stressed that every dollar generated by the tax is used for road improvements.
“One critical piece of the legislation, when it passed in 2017, was for the establishment of an infrastructure trust maintenance fund and that’s where that money is, and it is not being diverted anywhere else. It is 100 percent going towards [road projects] and anything to the contrary is inaccurate,” he said.
The state gas tax is scheduled to increase to 24 cents per gallon on July 1, 2020, to 26 cents per gallon on July 1, 2021 and to 28 cents per gallon on July 1, 2022.