It’s been awhile since we last checked in on gas prices in South Carolina. A little over three months, actually.
So … what’s happening with them? Um, they’re going up … just in time for the latest increase in the state’s gasoline tax to kick in.
The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Palmetto State currently stands at $2.57, according to AAA. That’s an increase of 5.3 percent over the last month and an increase of 22.9 percent from the same time a year ago. Nationally, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is going for $2.81 – up 6 percent from a month ago and 18.5 percent from a year ago.
Meanwhile GasBuddy.com has the average cost per gallon of regular unleaded in South Carolina at $2.55.
South Carolina’s gas is now the eighth-cheapest nationally. Usually, gas in the Palmetto State is the cheapest in the nation – although it’s worth recalling that this statistic is very misleading. Gas may be cheap here, but people are poor. As a result, South Carolinians have historically spent more of their income on fuel costs than residents of almost every other state in the nation.
This is one of the reasons our news site steadfastly opposed last year’s massive gas tax hike – because it is so regressive.
Nonetheless, it passed. South Carolina’s “Republican-controlled” General Assembly is currently the midst of raising the gas tax from 16.75 cents per gallon to 28.75 cents per gallon – among a host of other “revenue enhancements.” All told, their tax hike 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.
Fortunately, our diabolically brilliant and devilishly handsome founding editor Will Folks is engaged in a lawsuit against the state over the tax hike – one based on solid constitutional grounds. Hopefully it will receive a hearing prior to the next round of tax hikes taking effect on July 1.
Beyond the July 1 hike – which will add another two cents per gallon to the state’s 18.75 cents-per-gallon fuel tax – gas prices are expected to increase on their own as the peak driving months of summer approach.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas prices nationwide will average around $2.74 during the summer – which would be the most expensive fuel has been since the summer of 2014. The EIA projects these elevated prices will hold, too, with the annual average for 2018 projected to clock in at $2.76 per gallon.
Translation? The recent respite from high gasoline prices is coming to an end … just as South Carolina’s “Republican” politicians are reaching their greedy, grubby paws deeper into your wallet.
And we wonder why the Palmetto State is never able to get ahead?
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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