South Carolina has made significant strides in attracting manufacturing investment to the state, but one of the nagging impediments to future growth and development is funding our transportation infrastructure. Manufacturers appreciate SC's world class railways, access to 4 major airports within an hour's drive from virtually anywhere in the state, and crisscrossing highways that funnel traffic to neighboring states. This infrastructure has helped fuel economic development, and that correlation is not lost on SC's Dept of Transportation . Unfortunately, they project a 29 billion dollar funding deficit for repairs over the next 20 years.
It will fall to our state legislature to find a way to pay for this, and there are many schools of thought. But with the 4th lowest gas tax in the country, that seems like low-hanging fruit. No one likes to raise taxes or pay them, but this one hasn't budged since 1987 and has failed to keep up with inflation. The burden would not fall solely on SC residents, but would be shared by tourist traffic and trucks hauling goods on our highways.
Bold decisions must be made to insure that our rail, roadway and mass transit infrastructure keeps up with the demands of economic growth in South Carolina. I hope addressing the gas tax is part of the plan.
That's my perspective.