New South Carolina gas tax going straight to improving our roads

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – If you get gas in South Carolina starting today it’s more expensive. It’s been going up two cents a year since 2017. It’s part of a 10-year plan to improve roads here and across the state.

Well these two pretty pennies coming out of your wallet could add up depending on how often you fill up. But Pete Poore from the South Carolina Department of Transportation says if you aren’t seeing any changes to your roadways yet, you will soon.

“People who say I’m not seeing any paving in my neighborhood, wait just wait. It’s coming,” said Pete Poore, Director of Communication at SCDOT.

A decade-long plan to make up for over 30 years of neglect. The South Carolina gas tax is now 26 cents per gallon. And some aren’t too happy about it.

“I don’t like it I’m in my truck a lot all day every day at least 100 miles a week,” said Jeff Young.

Until they find out what it’s going to.

“As far as for I-20 purposes and right by exit 1 I’m all for it I think that’s been needed for years stuff like that the infrastructure we need,” said Young.

Updates the state desperately needs.

“It’s a lot of construction on 95, 20 they’re monsters we need at least three lanes to go each way,” said Frank Bennett.

But these two cents go straight to the paving projects. The other 24 cents go to rural road safety, widening the interstate, and bridge projects. So it may seem like they’re holding onto some money when you look at their budget, but it’s actually for your protection.

“It’s a pay-as-you-go process, if you were buying a house for 100,000 you wouldn’t hire a contractor and write him or her an 100,000 dollar check,” said Poore. “We want to make sure we’re protecting the taxpayer by making sure they’re getting the work they’re supposed to get.”

By the end of the project, SCDOT hopes to have 80 percent of roads in good condition. So Poore doesn’t anticipate the tax going back down. He says they need it to maintain and keep going.

All of the progress on the project is posted on their website South Carolina Department of Transportation so that each time you fill up you know your money is turning into miles.

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