Both the South Carolina Senate and House voted to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto of a road funding bill (H.3516) that would increase the state’s gas tax by 12 cents per gallon over a six-year period.
The House voted 95-18 in the override, with the Senate voting 32-12.
The gas tax increase, along with new and increased fees, is expected to create at least $600 million each year in funding once fully implemented.
For the next fiscal year, starting July 1, the gas tax will increase 2 cents per gallon. South Carolina’s gas tax hasn’t been raised in 30 years and is among the lowest in the country. Currently, the tax is at 16.75 cents per gallon.
In early April, McMaster had threatened a veto of the funding initiative, at that point in early stages, because he did not want the gas tax increase. He then countered with a proposal to use money from an education bond bill.
The legislation raises gas taxes 2 cents per gallon each year through 2022 and increases registrations fees for vehicles by $16, but attempts to offset these increases through several income tax credits.