- The South Carolina legislature overrode Governor Henry McMaster's gas tax veto last week, voting in favor of a 12 cent incremental increase, The Post and Courier reported last week.
- The gas tax is currently 16.75 cents per gallon, but will rise by 2 cents each year to 28.75 cents per gallon. Once fully phased in, the tax will collect $600 million a year in revenue.
- To address the state's $500 million a year infrastructure deficit, the governor had instead proposed to take on $1 billion in state bonds. The Post and Courier reports his failed veto may have been driven by political aspirations to re-election.
Raising the gas tax is almost as incendiary an issue as the substance to which they're attached. However, under infrastructure-starved times like these, it's not surprising that states are reconsidering decades old injunctions against them.
Roads, bridges, and rail users are desperate for improvements, and local politicians appear to understand this. Rather than wait for federal support in a constantly-promised but long-delayed $1 trillion infrastructure plan, at least four states — California, Indiana, Tennessee and now South Carolina — are acting independently.
In some cases, like for South Carolina, the need for infrastructure is tied not just to fewer potholes, but also economic growth. The state's port is bracing for increased ship traffic, but what good is a healthy port when the roads and rails around it can't safely transport the goods it receives?