South Carolina roads legislature

House Leaders’ Gas Tax Bill

LAWMAKERS’ ANSWER TO THE ROADS PROBLEM IS STILL THE SAME: YOU HAVEN’T SENT ENOUGH MONEY TO COLUMBIA [The text of this analysis has been updated to reflect the bill’s most recent version. Updates on the bill’s history mentioned at the bottom.] House leaders filed H.3516, a bill allegedly designed to repair South Carolina’s deteriorating road system. […]

South Carolina Roads

Will Lawmakers Raise the Gas Tax in 2017?

LAST YEAR, THE PROBLEM WAS STRUCTURAL RATHER THAN MONETARY. IT STILL IS. Over the past several weeks there has been considerable public speculation that Gov. Nikki Haley’s successor may support a gas tax increase. Given calls to raise the gas tax from editorial boards, Department of Transportation officials, and state lawmakers, it’s fair to assume that the […]

pothole in road

Legislature Passes DOT ‘Reform’ Bill

IT MIGHT BE THE MOST CONVOLUTED REFORM BILL WE’VE SEEN YET. [Update: On Wednesday, June 8, Gov. Haley signed the bill analyzed below, calling it “incomplete reform” and “far less than what the people of South Carolina both expect and deserve from us.”] All throughout the 2016 legislative session, roads-related bills have fluttered around the […]

Time Bomb over Blue

The Legislature’s $2.2 Billion Debt Bomb

● Bill would raise revenue by creating debt ● Senators seemingly unaware of state’s debt problem ● Plan would expand highways, do little about repair/maintenance of roads So far in this year’s legislative session, lawmakers have been unable to pass a tax increase for roads repair. Rather than giving up on the effort and sending […]

South Carolina roads legislature

What the House Did on the Senate Roads Plan

STILL NO TAX INCREASE, BUT STILL NO ACTUAL REFORM The House took up the Senate roads plan (H.3579) on Wednesday, April 13, and amended the bill once again. Debate was extensive, but all the votes related to the bill were lopsided. Representatives Jonathon Hill (R-Anderson) and Rick Quinn (R-Lexington) each proposed amendments that would abolish the […]

ANALYSIS: The Senate Roads Plan

REAL REFORM, NON-REFORM, OR SOMETHING ELSE? On Wednesday night, senators emerged from a behind-the-scenes meeting to adopt an amendment to the roads bill. As it exists now, the bill does not include a tax/fee increase and includes changes that would improve the current system. Even so, it does not eliminate the State Infrastructure Bank – a […]

Why DOT’s Priority Lists Are Mostly Meaningless

GAS TAX HIKE SUPPORTERS CLAIM THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATON ALREADY USES OBJECTIVE CRITERIA IN CHOOSING ROAD PROJECTS. THEY’RE WRONG. One of the most frequently repeated arguments against reforming the Department of Transportation – and thus one of the most frequently repeated arguments in favor of raising the gas tax – is that the DOT was […]

Bill Removes Accountability from Road Funding

LEGISLATION WOULD REMOVE WHAT LITTLE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY STILL REMAIN IN SOUTH CAROLINA’S ROAD FUNDING SYSTEM ● Bill empowers murky government entities called “COGs” ● Removes governor’s power to appoint DOT secretary ● Process to nominate commissioners convoluted, confusing ● Governor would “nominate” commissioners, but could only choose from among lawmakers’ preferred candidates The latest attempt to “reform” […]

roads report cover image

REPORT: What to Do about South Carolina’s Roads

STRUCTURE, FUNDING, REFORM Many of South Carolina’s roads and bridges are in a deplorable state of disrepair. No one who’s spent much time driving across the state will dispute that. Yet the solution put forward by many State House politicians and some organizations – raise the gas tax and send new revenue to road repair […]

Senate Considering Separate “DOT Reform” Bill

AS LONG AS LEGISLATIVE LEADERS STAY IN CHARGE, THE CHANGE IS COSMETIC [UPDATE: The Senate Transportation Committee has passed an amended version of the bill to the full Senate. We’ll have an updated analysis when amendments are made available.] At the South Carolina State House, the word “reform” is abused more than any other. It’s used to […]