South Carolina puts up $1 billion for roads, bridges

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, June 26, 2013

An infusion of cash in South Carolina is expected to start rolling in for transportation work.

Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law on Monday, June 24, to use a mix of new revenue, sales taxes and borrowing to raise as much as $1 billion during the next decade to improve roads and bridges throughout the state.

Haley described on Facebook the bill signing as “a historic day in South Carolina.”

“We signed a $1 billion infrastructure bill into law, setting priorities and not increasing taxes.”

Previously H3360, the new law routes $50 million to the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank to be used to borrow $500 million for major work. About $40 million a year from the state sales tax on vehicles will be applied for secondary roads, which aren’t eligible for federal money. Another $50 million in one-time funding will be used for bridges.

The new money falls far short of the estimated $48.3 billion over 20 years that the South Carolina Department of Transportation said is necessary to address all road and bridge repairs. Revenue from fuel taxes is estimated to raise $19 billion, which is less than half of the amount needed.

Haley was opposed to increasing the state’s 16-cent fuel tax rate. The tax at the pump, which hasn’t changed since 1987, raises about $500 million annually.

To view other legislative activities of interest for South Carolina, click here.

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