SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Drivers will soon spend more filling up their gas tank, as the South Carolina Motor Fuel Fee increases on July 1.
“It’s always a crazy thing to see how high the prices go,” said driver Christopher Magee.
Magee filled up his gas tank on Thursday, before heading out for a road trip.
“It makes me want to stay in the house sometimes, I’ll tell you that, but what can you do when you have to go places,” said Magee.
He said it costs more to fill up now than it did before. AAA reports drivers are paying an average of $4.58 per gallon for regular gas in South Carolina. It’s the highest recorded average price.
“I remember when I used to be able to fill up a car for $30 and now it’s like $60,” said Magee.
On July 1, drivers will see the final increase in the motor fuel fee, bringing the total up to 28 cents per gallon. The tax has increased by two cents every year since 2017, as a part of the South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act.
“The important point that we like to stress is what you’re getting for your two cents,” said Pete Poore, the communications director for the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
Poore said the tax will collect about $910 million, which will help fund road projects.
“$769 million will be used for paving projects all around the state, and by all around the state, I mean every county. All 46 counties,” said Poore.
He said those pennies add up.
“Every dollar goes to a project,” said Poore.
He also said drivers will soon see more roadwork.
“We hope that people will notice a lot more cones and barrels out on the road,” said Poore.
He also said the tax money puts the DOT head of its 10-year plan, allowing them to increase their project targets and create safer roads for drivers. People can learn more about the DOT projects online.
“This is how we’re going to spend the two cents more that you’re going to pay at the pump, since we have more money, we can for the most part, pave more roads,” said Poore.
The 28-cent per gallon fee is permanent. People can claim a tax credit to help offset the increase in motor fuel fees.