A group of contractors made a last-minute push for state legislators on a funding plan for roads and bridges Tuesday. The Associated General Contractors called on legislators to end debate on a bill that would raise the gas tax by 12 cents in exchange for an income tax offset. The group’s spokesman says the indecision is hurting the road construction industry.
Brian Turmail said South Carolina is similar to many other states in that it has neglected roads for too long. “Just like you have to always kind of work on your house, unfortunately as a home owner, at the same time you have to work on your road bridges,” Turmail said.
Turmail said 500 construction jobs have been lost in the Columbia region this past year, while South Carolina gained 6,000 construction jobs, a 7 percent increase, during the April to April period, according to the labor statistics agency.
While Columbia and Spartanburg reported losses in construction jobs, Greenville and Charleston reported positive numbers. South Carolina has lost 30 percent of its jobs in construction since the Great Recession, due in part to the failure of state and federal lawmakers to address transportation funding.