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How the suspended gas tax could affect your wallet, travel

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2022 at 7:12 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The 4th of July weekend is almost here, and GasBuddy says prices are declining at the pump. However, they also say that it will still be the most expensive 4th of July in history when it comes to gas prices.

GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan says a gas tax holiday could give all drivers a bit more relief.

“That could save everyone basically 18 cents a gallon,” Dehaan said. “Now, it does depend on how the law is worded. Keep in mind that stations of thousands of gallons of gasoline they have in their underground storage tanks. So, when that law comes into effect, the biggest question is will the government make themselves through that inventory that they bought at a higher price? That could cause any pass-through to be a little bit slower, or will the government say it’s retroactive? Even though it’s gallons you already bought, we will give you a refund for. If that is the case, then the decline could be more rapid.”

The South Carolina Department of Transportation says they doubt state lawmakers will suspend the state gas tax. Part of this reasoning is because of how successful they say the 10-year plan from the 2017 Roads Bill is going in the state. This means road repaving, fixed bridges, interstate improvements and rural road safety have drastically improved over the years.

Without the state gas tax, the SCDOT says these projects would have to come to a halt.

“You could say, maybe I’ll save 28 cents per gallon in the state gas tax, and maybe the oil companies raise the price 28 cents to negate that,” Pete Poore, the director of communications for the SCDOT, said. “Would you rather have that, or would you rather have to work continuing to improve the roads and the bridges in the state? That’s a sure thing if we have that gas tax money. That work will continue.”

Starting July 1, South Carolina’s state gas tax will go up between one and two cents, equaling about 28 cents a gallon total. It is unclear when the federal government will make this suspension decision.

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