Haley proposes infrastructure pool

By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published April 11, 2013

Gov. Nikki Haley proposed Thursday the creation of an infrastructure pool to fund repairs and improvements for state roads.

Gov Nikki Haley (Photo/Liz Segrist)

“Why are we waiting for one of those thousands of deficient bridges with a school bus on it to break before we do something about it?”

— Gov. Nikki Haley

“We have got to start an infrastructure pool, because I can brings jobs all day long, but at some point it is not going to be good enough if we don’t have air, rail, ports and roads to be able to handle all of the freight that’s going back and forth,” Haley said during the Greenville Area Development Corp.’s annual luncheon in Greenville.

Funding infrastructure is crucial to continue economic development and recruitment efforts for South Carolina, she said. Haley proposed that 100% of the gas tax go toward roads and infrastructure, rather than the current 80%. The S.C. gas tax is the third lowest in the nation at 16.8 cents per gallon, according to the Tax Foundation.

She also advocated that all of excess money from the budget each year should go toward the infrastructure pool. She said she would support a bill in the House that aims to use the sales tax of vehicles to fund infrastructure.

As for raising the gas tax, Haley said it shouldn’t be a consideration until both 100% of the gas tax goes toward infrastructure and an infrastructure pool is created.

“So many say we don’t have enough money, but we had $300 million to put into the ports last year, you can find more money,” Haley said. “Right now, we have the money. It’s a matter of making sure the money goes to the right places.”

To read more coverage from the GADC luncheon, click here.

Related coverage

South Carolina lawmakers knock down idea of gas tax hike
Money woes threaten S.C. transportation infrastructure
Money woes hamper efforts to fix transportation infrastructure
Study: S.C. loses $400M annually in transportation revenue

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Comments:

Added: 15 Apr 2013

For what good reason was it decided to divet 20% of gas taxe revenues from DOT instead of delivering 100%, the logicial percentage, for what is clearly intended to be a highway user fee? The gas tax has not been increased since 1987. The US Gov. CPI Calculator informs us that if adjusted for inflation that $.165 tax would now be $.3372. The cost of maintenance and construction are adjusted. Why not that tax together with the $300.00 sales tax cap on cars? No need to wonder why DOT has been given the unenviable task of overseeing the decline of our state's highway in frastructure.

Walter Carr