COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolinians want to know if the extra pennies they’re paying at the pump are actually making a difference.
Since July 2017, the gas tax has increased by 4 cents in South Carolina. All thanks to the “Roads Bill” that will increase the gas tax by 2 cents every July until 2022.
Gregory Williams has been driving in South Carolina for the last three decades. He’s seen his fair share of crumbling roads and potholes. “It would be nice if you could ride on a nice smooth road and not worry about your muffler jumping off,” he said.
When lawmakers passed the “Roads Bill” and the gas tax began increasing, he wasn’t entirely sold on the idea. Now, he says he’s seen some progress the last two years. The South Carolina Department of Transportation is in the midst of a 10-year plan that has been focused on resurfacing projects, replacing bridges, widening the interstate and improving safety on rural roads.
“I think they could’ve come up with something that would’ve fixed the roads quicker, but if this is working let it be,” he said.
According to SCDOT, 2018 was a record-breaking year for improvements on South Carolina roads. They are ahead of schedule for their 10-year-plan.
Now according to SCDOT, as of February 28, 2019, $161 million has been generated from the gas tax increase since July 2017. If you include maintenance fees, registration fees, road use fees, and investment earnings the total number of revenue is close to $580 million.
DOT says that money will be used to:
- Improve 688 miles of rural roadways
- Resurface 2306 miles of pavement
- Fund 13 bridge projects
- Assist in funding 32 miles of interstate widenings
Jennifer Thompson isn’t a fan of the gas tax increase, “Please get it done correctly and do it right the first time. Instead of having to patch them up. Don’t patch them up and fix them right.”
SCDOT says they anticipate the increase will generate about $1 billion in funds. As of the end of February, $34 million in projects have been completed.
For a full list of gas tax projects, click here.
Thompson said she hopes the extra pennies at the pump are worth it, “South Carolina is a beautiful place but we want the roads to be safe and drivable.”