State budget writers will consider this week whether to raise South Carolina’s 17-cents per-gallon gasoline tax.
According to The State newspaper, a House budget committee on Tuesday will also decide whether or not to raise other vehicle fees. The highest proposed fee is a one-time charge of up to $250 on vehicles bought outside of South Carolina and registered in the state.
South Carolina has not raised vehicle related fees for nearly thirty years. A filibuster in the state Senate, a veto threat from then-Gov. Nikki Haley and lobbying efforts by Americans for Prosperity helped kill a proposed gas-tax hike last year.
Lawmakers will give it another try this year starting with a bill in the House which is supported by Speaker Jay Lucas. Legislators believe new Gov. Henry McMaster will be more amenable to a tax hike.
The proposed 10-cents-a-gallon increase would be phased-in over five years by two cents a year.
South Carolina is a state that taxes gas at the wholesale level, not retail at the pump. That means companies that supply gas stations would decide how much of the tax increase is passed down the line on to drivers. But it’s expected they would pass it all on to the consumer.
If passed, the higher tax could cost $60 a year for an average driver who travels 15,000 miles a year in a vehicle that gets 25 miles per gallon.