A South Carolina state lawmaker has introduced a measure
that would divert existing road-related taxes and fees to a highway maintenance
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston,
would raise about $90 million by 2010 to fix state highways, which
transportation officials say are in a maintenance crisis.
The money – including driver’s license and vehicle
registration fees – now pays for general state activities.
A shortage of funds forced the South Carolina Department of
Transportation four years ago to stop resurfacing secondary highways. The state
has a $560 million annual shortfall for maintenance, The State newspaper
Currently, the source of transportation funds is almost
entirely the state’s 16-cents-per-gallon fuel tax, which is among the lowest in
the nation. The tax rate was last changed in 1989.
Harrell said he wants to try the maintenance trust fund
before raising taxes or fees.
H3296 is in the House Ways and Means Committee.