With deteriorating roads and increasing safety concerns, the South Carolina legislature finally raised their gas tax to fund road improvements. The legislature overrode Governor McMaster’s veto and enacted HB 3516 on May 10. 2017. The debate over the gas tax increase began in 2015. Three years later it took a formal motion by the Senate Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman to end a filibuster so the Senate could override the governor’s veto.
Under the new law, the gas tax will increase by two cents every year from 2017 to 2022, for a total increase of 12 cents. The law also grants more power to the Governor to make appointments to the Department of Transportation (“DOT”). DOT estimated that South Carolina needs $1 billion each year to improve road conditions and the tax increase is expected to bring in $640 million each year for the State’s Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund. This infusion of new revenue should enable new roads to be built in the state where needed, subject to the approval of DOT. An article about the new law can be found in The State newspaper at: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article149412369.html.