On October 14th, 2016, Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey approved a 23 cent increase in the state’s gas tax. After months of stalemate and the threat of a transportation funding default, lawmakers came together to pass critical legislation. In doing so, New Jersey joins 17 other states that have increased transportation funding investments through raising their state’s gas tax since 2013.
Among those are Georgia, with a 28.5 cent gas tax, and North Carolina, with a 36 cent gas tax. Meanwhile, South Carolina’s motor fuel user fee has remained stagnant at 16.7 cent since 1987 – when Ronald Reagan was president and a dozen eggs cost just $1. South Carolina’s revenues are not keeping pace with inflation, and this has affected SCDOT and their ability to fix roads and bridges.
Now, South Carolina has the second lowest gas tax in the nation, second only to Alaska. The just rewards of the miserly contributions to road funding include:
- Only 18% of roads in South Carolina are in good condition
- The number of poor roads in South Carolina has grown from 31% (2008) to 54% (2014)
- 31% of South Carolina’s interstates experience recurring congestion
- Day-to-Day Maintenance is graded a D
- South Carolina funds their roads the least per lane mile than any other state in the country
- South Carolina’s roads are among the most dangerous in the nation with over 900 deaths occurring annually
- Driving on poor roads costs South Carolina motorists a total of $1.1 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs.
- Charleston motorist = $1,168.00
- Columbia motorist = $1,248.00
- Greenville motorist = $1,248.00
- South Carolina motorist lose over 18 million hours every year sitting in traffic
- SCDOT estimates that traffic congestion in the Palmetto State has cost our economy $2.6 billion
While other states have recognized the critical nature of road funding, South Carolina lags behind. The fact is SCDOT has not experienced a substantial increase in funding for over three decades, which has created a funding shortfall of upwards to $1 billion annually for the next 30-years. South Carolina has found itself in a position where it simply does not have the resources to address the overwhelming needs of its highway system.
It’s time South Carolina takes action. Tell legislators South Carolina roads are damaging us all! We need your help to tell lawmakers to support a long-term transportation plan to #FixSCRoads by signing our petition for better roads here.