COLUMBIA, S.C. — HL2: SC gas prices see 2 cent rise as part of annual gas tax increase
Drivers in South Carolina may have noticed a slight increase in gas prices in the last week. But it's not due to any supply issue.
July 1 marked the latest uptick in the state's gas tax which was enacted in 2017 to improve infrastructure. The two-cent per gallon incremental increase continues until 2022 for a total of 12 cents.
The funds are being deposited into what the state calls its Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund. These are being coupled with federal and state funds toward long-term improvements to infrastructure.
In the March State of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) the agency reported that the state was making progress but still had work to go, adding that South Carolina has the fourth largest state highway system in the nation in the sixth fastest-growing state.
It credited $796 million of its revenue stream to the state gas tax, $733 million to federal funds, $246 million to the car sales tax, and $107 million to other fees.
Meanwhile, SCDOT reports that it was able to balance operating costs despite COVID-19 and was not forced to cut or delay road or bridge projects.
Charts from the same presentation suggest a large portion of the 10-year plan investment areas - $702 million - will ultimately have gone to pavement maintenance by 2027 with the second-largest amount $458 million, going to interstate widening.
As the projects continue, South Carolina residents can keep track of gas tax projects and others on the state's website.