Lawmakers consider gas tax hike to fund road repairs

Lawmakers consider gas tax hike to fund road repairs

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It costs Wisconsin-based trucker Terry Wong $1200 to fill up his 300 gallon-rig. He says he can't imagine paying another cent.

"It's insane. Fuel is averaging $4 a gallon."

He may soon pay ten cents more per gallon in South Carolina. A new bill is honing in on truckers and tourists who, some legislators say, add wear and tear to the state's roads and bridges.

South Carolinians would pay the tax too, but for the first two years they would receive a state income tax rebate.

"If it's going to be implemented it should be right straight across the gas pump and the fuel pump," says Wong

AAA says the gas tax in South Carolina is the 4th lowest in the country at sixteen cents per gallon. The bill proposes raising the tax by ten cents.

"I can see ten cents a gallon if they're going to fix the roads, but all they're doing is post-marking it for a new highway," says Wong.

AAA says there's a $29-billion backlog in road and bridge maintenance. Repairing them now will be cheaper than replacing them down the line. Dennis Martel, who drove down from Ontario, says he doesn't mind paying a little more.

"You guys get a lot of tourists down here. so, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea."

Representative B.R. Skelton (R-Pickens) introduced the bill. Governor Haley says she will not support any tax increase. She says funds can be found in the current budget. House Speaker Bobby Harrell says he agrees with the Governor as well.

Four factors regulate the price of a gallon of gas. The cost of crude oil and refining it are the most expensive making up roughly 80-percent of the cost.