COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -Prices at the pump are going up, Monday. South Carolina drivers will pay two cents more for gas as part of the state’s Roads Bill which started back in 2017.
Every July the gas tax will increase by two pennies though the year 2022. This will be the third increase, yet.
The SC Department of Transportation has said that the money raised through the gas tax will help fund rural road repairs, bridge projects, and interstate widening projects. As of the end of May, SCDOT is reporting that nearly 100 projects have already been completed, totaling more than $71 million in repairs.
Some Midlands drivers say they’re beginning to see the benefits of the gas tax slowly but surely. Others say it feels like they’re having to pay more for gas, without seeing any results on the roads.
One area resident, Tracy George, says, “It’s ridiculous because with the gas prices going up, the roads ain’t getting no better, no improvement.”
“I’ve seen some. I see that they’re still working on it. If they continue and – from what I see – if they fix what they’re working on, I don’t see a problem with it,” says Marcus Williams, who also lives and drives in the Midlands.
Another Midlands taxpayer, Carrie Pittman, says, “They cannot do all the roads at one time. It’s going to take a period of time. It’s may take another year or even longer to repair all the damage.”
Officials say this is a pay-as-you-go process. No projects are started until enough gas tax revenue has been generated for that project, and no contractor is paid until the work is complete and inspected by SCDOT. It has taken some time for the money coming in from the gas tax to be implemented into repairs. It’s a source of frustration for some drivers who don’t feel they’ve seen any results.
“Ain’t nothing getting done. Ya’ll steady raising stuff and ain’t nothing going accordingly,”George said.
Some drivers are more understanding.
“I’m hoping that the gas tax does what it’s supposed to do but at the end of the day it’s either you going to pay for it or you going to walk,” Williams said.
Pittman says she realizes the work can’t be done overnight.
“It’s so many roads, bad. If you go on some of the back roads you’ll be – they complain about the roads we travel every day, but if you go on some of those back roads, it’s awful,” Pittman said.
Don’t forget to save your receipts. The Roads Bill may mean more money at the pump, but drivers can also earn a tax credit on gas purchases.