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

Image by Flickr user Indy Charlie

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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