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Gas Shortages, Price Spikes Grip SC

And of course that new gas tax isn’t helping …

The price of gasoline in South Carolina has spiked dramatically due to the disruption of supply caused by Hurricane Harvey.  Also, there appear to be serious shortages of supply … with one downtown Columbia, S.C. resident telling us they visited five fueling stations without finding any available petrol.

“They’re all out,” she told us.

Gas prices in the Palmetto State had already been creeping up in recent weeks – a problem exacerbated by South Carolina’s recently raised per gallon sales tax.  In the aftermath of Harvey, though, there has been a sudden spike.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in South Carolina is $2.38 – and climbing fast.  That’s up $0.32 cents (or 15.5 percent) from just two weeks ago.  Meanwhile according to GasBuddy.com, the average per gallon regular unleaded price has climbed to $2.39 – up $0.35 cents (or 17.1 percent) from two weeks ago.

Legislation passed by lawmakers earlier this year will raise the state’s gas tax from 16.75 cents per gallon to 28.75 cents per gallon over the next six years – among a host of other “revenue enhancements.”  All told, the measure will drain roughly $1.8 billion from the economy over its first five years of implementation and around $600 million each (and every) year thereafter.

The new law is supposed to contain $186 million worth of annual tax credits – but it’s not yet clear exactly how these credits will be claimed (or whether they will be any help to the working poor).  It’s also not clear yet whether the inclusion of these tax credits was constitutional, something the founding editor of this website is seeking to determine conclusively via this lawsuit.

What are experiences like in your neck of the woods?  Post your thoughts in our comments section below …

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