COLUMBIA, SC– Just like South Carolina is struggling to pay for its road needs, the federal government is too.
The feds spend about $50 billion a year on roads, but the federal gas tax brings in only about $34 billion. So Rep. Tom Rice, SC 7th Dist., has introduced a bill to raise the federal gas tax by 10 cents a gallon while also giving taxpayers a $133 credit on their federal income taxes.
“Our Highway Trust Fund isn’t funded and cannot be trusted,” said Rice. “The uncertainty this trust fund creates stifles investment from states and industry, and makes American businesses less competitive. After researching long-term solutions, I am proposing legislation to fix the Highway Trust Fund in the only way that makes sense, by adjusting the user fee. This will make certain that the fund is solvent and necessary investments in our infrastructure can be made.”
He says the higher gas tax would cost the average driver about $130 more a year, but with the $133 income tax credit drivers would come out ahead.
Driver Clark Bell says, “If we’re not bringing in enough to pay for the road construction we currently have, we need to raise the taxes.”
Americans for Prosperity says this bill is like what Gov. Nikki Haley proposed in South Carolina. AFP-South Carolina State Director Dave Schwartz says, “South Carolina citizens already made their displeasure known about these ‘tax swaps’ during the state legislative session. Rep. Rice’s proposal means three things will happen: more wasteful spending in Washington, DC, we’ll pay higher taxes and our roads won’t get fixed. The government uses about a fifth of our gas tax dollars on things completely unrelated to road and bridge repair – wasteful spending. South Carolinians know it’s time for spending reform; that’s why they haven’t bought into any of these goofy ‘tax swaps,’ and this one should be no different.”
The federal gas tax is currently 18.4 cents a gallon and hasn’t been raised since 1993.