Yet Another Reason Not To Raise South Carolina’s Gas Tax

STATE LEADERS COULD BE DOING A LOT MORE WITH A LOT LESS … We’ve been over the reasons not to raise South Carolina’s gas tax plenty of times in the past … but here’s a quick refresher. First, South Carolinians cannot afford it (they already pay more of their incomes…


We’ve been over the reasons not to raise South Carolina’s gas tax plenty of times in the past … but here’s a quick refresher.

First, South Carolinians cannot afford it (they already pay more of their incomes on fuel than residents of all but two other states).  Second, state government is lying about the “shortfall” in infrastructure funding.  Third, taxpayers have nearly doubled the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT)’s base budget over the last six years – yet our roads and bridges are still a joke.  Fourth, SCDOT remains as corrupt as ever – picking projects based on politics, not needs.

Why should we give these people more money?

Especially when they are offering absolutely zero in the way of reform?

The answer is simple: We shouldn’t.

Ironically, if there were ever a time to get busy repairing and resurfacing roads (as opposed to playing politics with other people’s money) – now is the time.

Low fuel prices means the cost of oil-based construction materials – i.e. asphalt and asphalt binders – is cheaper than ever.

In fact according to the liberal organization AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), “state departments of transportation are now finding the lowest costs for road-paving asphalt since the 2008-09 recession.”

Naturally, AASHTO is promoting this as a reason to “boost project funding” across the country.

We don’t necessarily disagree with such a recommendation – assuming we are referring to needed projects (i.e. road repairs and re-pavings).  Not boondoggles.

Anyway … of interest is the fact that this lower cost of construction has not been factored into the state’s budgeting discussion, which remains exclusively focused on how to deprive taxpayers of as much of their money as possible.

Seriously … just look at the latest pro-gas tax propaganda from The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper.

“No one … the SCDOT Commissioners, the Governor, nor the secretary of transportation … is talking about the much greater buying power they should be getting from tax dollars due to the low cost of asphalt and asphalt binders used in resurfacing,” one infrastructure expert told us.

In fact, this expert pointed out how these elected and appointed officials love to bemoan the “inflation rate which makes the gas tax worth less” – yet they conveniently ignore the fiscal impact of lower construction costs.

Bottom line?  Now is an excellent time for state government to devote appropriate resources to road repair and resurfacing … as opposed to blowing the money on unnecessary projects.

Of course this is South Carolina … and expecting this state’s “Republican” leaders to spend your money wisely on any front is clearly wishful thinking.


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The Colonel (R) January 26, 2016 at 11:40 am

Lower prices also mean increased revenue in the form of taxes since that cost is fixed per gallon and lower gas price equals more gas usage.

D. A. Tyme January 26, 2016 at 11:46 am

That sounds like Obama’s plan of keeping your tires inflated to solve high gas prices.

The Colonel (R) January 26, 2016 at 11:48 am

Regardless of what you pay at the pump, in South Carolina, for every gallon of gas you buy, the state gets 16 cents. Cheaper gas equals more use, more use equals more taxes. No Obamamath involved.

D. A. Tyme January 26, 2016 at 11:56 am

Oh.Who says people buy more gas when it is cheaper? If I go from point A to point B everyday for work why would I buy more gas?

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 11:56 am

People drive more when gas is cheaper because it costs less money. Are you that dense? Oh, right, Trump supporter, that’s a yes.

The Colonel (R) January 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Vacations, air travel etc all increase as prices go down. SUVs are making a huge resurgence in new car sales…

One of the causes of the drop was a decline in demand. Once the demand returns, the prices will rise.

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Next you’ll be telling us that when groceries are on sale people buy more of those!

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Thanks for explaining that to the idiot. I am gay and my lover likes to drive me out to the San Francisco brothels two times a year for gay orgies instead of once a year all because of the low gas prices.

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm

How do you know about GT taking me on romantic getaways? Are you stalking me, impersonator?

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Still can’t figure out why grocery prices are so high when gas prices are going down.I got more money to drive around town all day since I am jobless but I sure ain’t getting more bang for my buck with my EBT card.

Sic Semper Tyrannis January 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Bi-lo and Aldi. A lot of aldi’s food is good, don’t buy the buffalo wings.

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm

I don’t eat meat unless it is my lovers hot dog.

D. A. Tyme January 26, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Air fare,rental cars and vacation prices are all higher.My point on the gas tax is EVERYBODY should pay something for infrastructure-even those on welfare.EVERYBODY can afford 2-5 cents a gallon.

vicupstate January 26, 2016 at 1:36 pm

People on welfare don’t buy things?

Rocky Verdad January 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm

To go to the beach?

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 12:05 pm

My penis pump uses electricity.

fl ? p January 26, 2016 at 11:51 am

But the Republicans are in charge, so there can’t be any problems with DOT.

TroubleBaby January 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm

See, when government has to account for inflation by raising taxes, it doesn’t care that the people that it taxes already have less from inflation too.

Basically, the government is just saying, “Well, tough cookies- eat & drive less. Tighten your belt, etc.”

Tazmaniac January 26, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Which makes tax collections even lower.

_min February 1, 2016 at 9:20 am

Something something Laffer curve

Tazmaniac February 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Nothing funny about it. ;-)

ELCID January 26, 2016 at 1:31 pm


Don’t come asking SC Citizens to shell out more of our hard earned money while Santee Cooper sits there as a Multi-Billion Dollar asset we don’t need to own.

Santee Cooper Lobbyist are actively trying to kill this deal! Why, does a State Owned Company have Lobbyist in the first place. Who pays for them??? SC Citizens Lobbying against themselves:: BS! No, crooks trying to maintain control of your money for their own benefit. Typical Politics. Note the people against this idea, and you will see who the real crooks are and who they are protecting!!!

idcydm January 26, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Will they guarantee a gas tax hike will only be used to fix roads…no they will not so screw them.

MurryLaker January 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm

sorta like the penny tax in Richland county…..another fund ripe for the plucking!!!

Positivedifference54 January 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm

It’s time to do away with the DOT Commission and the State Infrastructure Bank. Time to take the legislature out of controlling where roads get fixed. It’s damn past time to fix and improve our current highway system in place. There are thousands of miles of state roads that are absolutely shot to hell. Too narrow, crumbling apart, road beds that can no longer support the vehicle traffic. Bridges that are worn out. I don’t know about you, but how does it feel to drive over a bridge and hit potholes in the bridge deck where you can see the rebar in the concrete? Do you love all those ruts in the roads you drive home on? How about the roads where the asphalt have sunk down and away.? A fine legacy our republican legislature has left for our children and grandchildren concerning our state highway system. The Governor has offered a measly $350 million for SCDOT in her budget. That might, just might, cover the costs to repair the shot to hell roads in Spartanburg County alone. What about the other 45 counties in the state? Maybe the price of oil is down and maybe we can scratch out a few extra miles of road repairs but it is will not be enough to fix our roads before they fall apart over time. Status quo, still failing faster than we can fix em. Get real folks, the roads are in worse shape than you think.


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