COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The House's roads and infrastructure bill that would raise the gas tax by 12 cents over the next 6 years has failed a procedural vote in the Senate that would bring it to the floor for debate.
The vote to bring the bill to the floor failed a special order vote by 23-18. The bill needed 28 votes to move forward to the floor.
Senate Republicans said the bill failed because raising the gas tax would unfairly target South Carolina taxpayers and it removed Department of Transportation reforms.
"Fixing South Carolina's roads is the top priority of our caucus," Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey said in a statement. "However, we have serious concerns about raising taxes on the hardworking people of South Carolina in the midst of rising budget surpluses. We will continue talking with senators to reach an agreement because we are committed to passing comprehensive, effective legislation this session to fix our roads, repair an antiquated tax system and promote economic prosperity for all South Carolinians."
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce blasted the vote, saying legislators are wasting their time by not passing this legislation.
"The people of South Carolina deserve better and expect more – they want the Senate do its job, follow the House's lead and make a long-term investment in our decaying roads and decrepit bridges that we can all celebrate," Chamber President & CEO Ted Pitts said.