COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Governor McMaster, the WIS editorial board applauds your $5 billion request to President Trump for improvements to South Carolina's infrastructure.
Should that funding actually make it to the Palmetto State, it'll just be another band aid.
The State Department of Transportation says it needs more than $1 billion annually to properly fix South Carolina's roads.
What the state really needs is a recurring funding mechanism.
South Carolina's 16.75 gas tax is third-lowest in the nation and hasn't been increased since the 80's. Our neighbors to the north and south have much higher gas taxes, and roads in much better condition.
The House currently has a plan on the table that, among other things, would raise that tax by ten cents over the next few years. That would place South Carolina below the average for all 50 states.
To put a gas tax hike into perspective, a driver with a 15-gallon tank would pay an additional $1.50 per fill-up, which would end up being about $72.00 per year. That's less than the cost of a most new tires.
And those from out of state who fill up here would also help to bear the infrastructure burden.
If our elected officials, including Governor McMaster, can't work together to pass a plan this session, they have failed the state. Heading into this legislative session, the roads issue was the number one priority to those who voted them into office.
Major business owners say SC's roads are costing them millions. In 2014, chairman and president of Greenville-based Michelin North America, Pete Selleck said, "The roads in this state are a disgrace," even threatening to look to other states for future expansion if the conditions here don't improve.
It's time to get something done. Our roads and bridges aren't fixing themselves.
That's my take, what's yours?