Gas Tax to Rise by Two Cents a Gallon for Next Six Years
Columbia (PalmettoTimes) – Several road project packages have been awarded by the South Carolina Department of Transportation to local CTC (County Transportation Committees). The road work will be paid for out of the proceeds that came from a roads bill that was recently enacted.
The D.O.T. also increased funding from General Assembly to the County Transportation Committees. The agency stated in a July 20, 2017 press release that the contracts come to a total of $26.5 million. They will cover rehabilitation and resurfacing projects for what will be up to 200 miles, the length of which is expected to run through 27 counties.
The General Assembly passed the roads bill that helped fund this project. It was vetoed by Governor Henry McMaster but passed the G.A.
If passed, the bill would raise the price of the gas tax steadily by two cents a gallon every year for six years. When it is put into effect, an increase in the overall tax will likely generate over $600 million annually that can go to repair and other costs for local roads and bridges.
The contracts also include money for SCDOT prioritized projects to the tune of $14 million as well as $13 million that will be devoted to projects of the Country Transportation Committee.
The release stated that the increased effort to fund the S.C. resurfacing program and local CTC programs is reflected in these projects. The projects will be under contract and managed in the Aiken and Berkeley’s counties as well as Georgetown and Oconee’s. The agency said that more projects that will update, repair, resurface, and improve the counties’ roads and bridges are to come and that they will be contracted throughout the year.
Christy Hall, Secretary of Transportation for South Carolina, said that these projects couldn’t have been possible to carry out without the additional funding. Hall said that the engineers of the SCDOT were ready to advance the projects to contract before the roads bill passed, such was their confidence that they would go through.
The S.C. General Assembly acted on road funding in order to rebuild S.C. roads. Now that the funding has come through, the state is fully committed to putting the funding to work and advancing projects to contract as planned.
Woody Willard, Panel chairman, said that the Transportation Commission approved a plan for $99 million of $149 million for the first year’s revenue to go toward resurfacing contracts. The other $50 million would be devoted totRural Road Safety Program.
Willard stated that awarding contracts is actually the first step when it comes to launching a program that will begin to address and reverse the bad condition of roads and more in South Carolina.
Projects are planned for counties in Upstate, Midlands, Pee Dee, and Lowcountry.