S.5 – Gas tax bill revenue diverted to interstate widening program
S.5 would divert gas-tax-bill revenue away from road repair and into a new interstate widening fund. The fund – controlled by the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) – would be used to finance revenue bonds for the construction of new lanes on “mainline interstates”, in addition to any rehabilitation projects necessary to add new lanes. In selecting projects, the bank must consider factors such as feasibility, public safety and, unsurprisingly, statewide economic benefit – hardly a factor that should determine whether or not a pothole gets filled.
As mentioned previously, the bill would reduce the amount of funding currently being used for resurfacing by roughly 14%, undercutting lawmakers’ promises to spend the new revenue on road repair during the 2017 gas tax debates. While the gas tax increase was carefully designed to allow the money to, in fact, be diverted away from repairing existing roads, this current bill does so blatantly.