New bill aimed at raising South Carolina's gas tax to pay to fix roads

Filling up in South Carolina could soon cost you more. A new bill is aimed at raising the state's gas tax to help pay for the crumbling infrastructure.

Many people who drive on South Carolina roads agree on one thing, the roads are in pretty bad shape and need help.

“We haven't spent enough money on the infrastructure through the United States, especially here in South Carolina. So I think we need to spend the money to fix the roads," Tega Cay resident John Deas said.

Jordan March, Vice President for South Carolina’s Alliance to Fix our Road, said this new bill will give dedicated and re-occurring funds to the transportation department.

“The legislator has definitely recognized there is an overwhelming public support for fixing our roads and bridges. Over the past two to three years, the legislation has kicked the can across the road and they finally recognized that something has to be done this year," March said.

The new bill would increases the gas tax from 16 cents to 26 cents over the next five years. Drivers FOX 46 Charlotte spoke with said the 2-cent a year increase sounds reasonable.

"Two cents is not bad. So, if it's necessary for us to be safe out there, then I am comfortable paying those two cents," Fort Mill resident Diana Brooks said. 

Drivers of Hybrid and Electric cars could also be paying more. The bill adds a new bi-annual "Vehicle Fee." $60 for hybrids and $120 for electric cars.

If you buy a car out of state and then register it in South Carolina, you would have to pay a new "Road Use Fee." That could cost around $300-500, with the cap at $500.

"The average South Carolina driver pays an annual of $250 from driving on poor roads from car maintenance to congestion. This type of increase in fees and fines would only amount to $60-70 annually per South Carolina resident," Marsh said.

While many people are behind the bill, some are afraid the money will be redirected elsewhere.

“I just hope that the politicians do what they say they are going to do, which is designate it all for road repairs," Rock Hill resident George Ywon said.

This bill is expected to pass the Full House Ways and Means Committee and move on to a House vote in a few days.