Here are 5 misleading statements surrounding The Great S.C. Gas Tax Debate:
Myth #1: “The entirety of the $600 million per year in gas tax that citizens pay goes to fix S.C. roads.”
Fact: $167 million goes to the county road committee + the state’s infrastructure bank (basically, a savings account) – both of which should be spending money on road maintenance. However, the bank has been controversially spending the money on new roads instead of maintaining current roads. Another $139 million of the $600 million goes to paying labor for road repairs.
Only about half of the $600 million goes to actual road maintenance.
Myth #2: “The governor has no say in the Transportation Department.”
Fact: The governor actually picks all 8 people who oversee that department.
Myth #3: “The Transportation Department doubled their budget.”
Fact: These numbers are a little deceiving – the $1 million budget was decided during a recession. The prior year, the budget was $1.3 million, making this year’s $1.8 million not exactly double.
Myth #4: “Borrowing $$$ will solve the problem.”
Fact: $200 million/20 year payback was approved to help fix the roads – and the plan for that money is to repave roads + fill in potholes. Credit often leads to trouble.
Myth #5: “Lowering income taxes will balance out paying higher gas taxes.”
Fact: S.C. already has the 10th lowest income tax rate. The S.C. income tax rate is widely believed to be 7%, when in actuality the rate is 2.99% after deductions + exemptions.