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On July 1, the motor fuel user fee was increased by $0.02 for the first time in South Carolina in nearly 30 years. There’s a lot of information (and misinformation) out there on what you can expect and how it will affect SC drivers.
Over the coming weeks, we will walk you through SCDOT’s 10-year plan and give you a greater understanding of why it will take time to correct the years of neglect.
What does the bill do?
There will be a $0.02 increase every July 1 for the next five years until the legislation is fully implemented at a total of $0.12 increase. The first $0.02 increase occurred this past July.
Naturally, the biggest question of citizens across the state is…
When will the roads improve?
We’ve underinvested in roads for 30 years and it’s going to take some time to turn it around. We all need to have a little patience. Improvements will happen, but like the problem, they won’t happen overnight.
Why is the increase spaced out?
SCDOT Secretary Christy Hall supported the phasing in of the $0.12 increase over six years because we don’t have enough manpower in the state to handle the influx of a full $0.12 increase at one time.
Why don’t we have enough manpower?
While our motor fuel user fee and the funding levels for the SCDOT have remained stagnant over the last 30 years, the cost of construction and materials have not. The SCDOT has been able to take on fewer projects, which meant there were fewer jobs for contractors, concrete and asphalt plants.
Meanwhile, over the last several years, our neighbors in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia drastically increased funding for their infrastructure. As a result of South Carolina’s limited resources and our neighboring states new infusions of cash to finance infrastructure projects, contractors and suppliers went elsewhere for work.
It’s going to take time to rebuild contractor and construction material capacity.
Next week, we will look at how the funding will be used. [See Part II: Fixing SC Roads- Phase One Projects]
Have a great weekend.