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South Carolina legislature overrides governor’s veto to increase state gas tax

Last week the South Carolina legislature voted to override a veto from the governor to successfully raise the state’s gas tax and other fees to increase funding for state highway projects. South Carolina is the 29th state to raise new transportation revenues since 2012.

To view details on the all of the states that have new revenue since 2012, please see this page, along with the rest of our resources on state funding & policy.

South Carolina’s new law (H. 3516) will raise fuel tax rates by a total of 12 cents per gallon by increasing the rate by 2 cents each year until 2022. When fully implemented, the 12-cent tax increase will generate an estimated $486 million annually.

The funding bill adds a new five percent tax on vehicle sales, netting $73 million annually. It also increases registration fees by $16 (netting $26 million annually) and adds a new $120 biennial fee on electric vehicles and a $60 biennial fee on hybrid vehicles (for $1.5 million annually).

New funding will be directed to maintenance and new construction on the state’s transportation system and to the state infrastructure bank to finance new projects. The law does not make major changes to the state’s transportation priorities

To offset the impact of tax and fee increases, the law creates a refundable tax credit in the amount of either the increased fuel tax cost or the amount paid on vehicle maintenance (whichever is less). This credit expires in 2022.

The House voted 95-18 and the Senate voted 32-12 on May 10 to override the veto. The passage came after several years of debate over new road funding. The state chamber of commerce and local chambers from Charleston, Greenville, and Lexington counties campaigned for the tax hike, including by sending mailers urging constituents to call their legislators to show support for the funding bill.

South Carolina is the fifth state to take action to raise new revenues in 2017, joining California, Indiana, Tennessee and Montana.

1 Comment

  1. Gabriel Lori

    7 years ago

    Horry County voted to increase gas tax a penny for eight years before this was passed..this was a back stabbing as we make the most revenue of any county in South Carolina…..Plus the hotel and hospitality tax of 14% was not taken away as it was supposed to>>the bonds for hwys 31 and 22 are almost payed off this vehicle tax was not supposed to be…we pay taxes on our vehicles every year!!Now they are yaking advantage for they will have a slush fund for the good ole boys asusual!!