Allowing Counties to Impose a Gas Tax Increase via Referendum
S.244 would allow the governing body of a county to enact an ordinance creating a referendum on a local gas tax increase of up to 5 cents a gallon to be used for road maintenance. It cannot be emphasized enough that more tax revenue is not needed to fix South Carolina roads. South Carolina government needs to fix a broken transportation governance structure and cut expenditures on new road construction before officials propose any kind of revenue increase.
It should also be noted that any revenue from a county level gas tax increase is only likely to benefit select roads even in the county itself. This is because the State owns and is responsible for the maintenance of 63 percent of all roads in South Carolina, which includes many small local roads. Even with additional revenues the county is likely to avoid spending on state roads which local government will assert are the state’s responsibility.