face higher diesel taxes in South Carolina if a business group is
able to push a highway construction and repair plan through the
Alliance for Transportation said it submitted a plan Jan. 9 to Republican
Gov.-elect Mark Sanford and the South Carolina General Assembly
to increase drivers’ taxes and fees to help the state generate $325
million a year for highway construction and repair. The amount is
far short of the $1.9 billion a year in new money transportation
officials say they need to keep roads safe and relieve congestion.
The group wants
truckers to chip in 5 cents more per gallon on diesel, while other
motorists would add 8 cents per gallon for gasoline. Drivers currently
pay 16 cents per gallon state tax on diesel and gasoline.
Under the proposal,
a new $300 flat “safety fee” also would be charged on a new-vehicle
purchase and a $75 fee would be charged on a used-vehicle purchase.
In addition, two-year registration fees would increase from $24
to $35, and five-year driver’s license fees would double to $25.