Battle lines being drawn over proposed 5.5¢ hike to South Carolina gas tax

The Legislature isn't even back in session and already we're seeing rising heat over whether or not South Carolina should raise its fourth-lowest in the nation gas tax.

A lot of numbers have been tossed around but the one that seems to be the sticking point is 5.5¢ per gallon, to raise our state gas tax from 16.75¢ to 22.25¢ a gallon, as suggested by S.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Buck Limehouse.

And while that number has received a surprising amount of support from our state's red lawmakers, not everyone is going on board.

(As a quick aside, it's easy to see why the never-tax-me crowd maybe coming on board even during a recession, our roads are just that bad: the S.C. Department of Transportation  receives the lowest funding per mile in the nation, the national average is $128,538 per mile, South Carolina spends $31,685 per mile.)

Governor Mark Sanford has come out saying this is a bad idea and the wrong time to raise taxes. But The Island Packet is taking the opposite stance saying a hike in gas taxes may be a necessary evil.

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