Gas prices in South Carolina have climbed by 12 cents per gallon over the last two weeks …. and while the Palmetto State still has some of the cheapest fuel in America, that’s not helping its mostly dirt poor residents.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in South Carolina currently stands at $3.46 – up from $3.34 on April 6.

In mid-March, a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.22.

South Carolina currently has the seventh-lowest gas prices in America – well below the national average of $3.66 – but as we’ve repeatedly pointed out our state’s chronically low income levels result in residents paying a greater percentage of their earnings on fuel. In fact South Carolinians rank second only to Mississippians when it comes to the percentage of their budget that gets poured into the gas tank.

Not good …

Gas in South Carolina averaged $3.24 per unleaded gallon in 2013 – down from $3.35 in 2012 (but up from its 2010 average of $2.60). It could soon climb above the $3.60 mark.

Despite these numbers, “Republicans” led by S.C. Senators Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence) and Ray Cleary (RINO-Horry) want to impose a whopping 125 percent increase in the state’s gasoline tax, hoping to hike it from 16 to 36 cents over a ten year period beginning in 2015.

Other “Republican” lawmakers are reportedly planning to introduce similar increases …

These lawmakers claim South Carolina needs more money to fix its “crumbling roads and bridges,” but as this website has repeatedly demonstrated our state’s problem is NOT the exorbitant amount of money it spends on highway infrastructure – it’s the bloated, inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy administering our system.

Thankfully moderate S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Bamberg) – who is running for lieutenant governor – has vowed to block this increase, championing a long-overdue delineation and prioritization of state highway dollars.

We oppose the gas tax hike – and support Sellers in his efforts to reform the system (and actually achieve modest gas tax relief). As with so many other fiscal issues, South Carolina doesn’t have a revenue problem when it comes to infrastructure – it has a spending problem.

What are gas prices like in your area? Feel free to post your experiences in our comments section below …