According to the Charleston Regional Business Journal, South Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce is once again focusing on funding infrastructure in the Palmetto State. Infrastructure at the top of the funding list includes crucial roads and bridges in the Charleston area and the county’s economic growth.
Changes to Legislation
The Charleston Chamber reports that the “South Carolina House of Representatives passed the ‘South Carolina Infrastructure Finance Reform and Tax Relief Act’ by a vote of 87-20.” The plan, put together by Representative Gary Simrill’s Ad-Hoc Committee, will lower the state’s gasoline tax by 6 cents, eliminate the tax exemption at the wholesale level, reinstate the six percent state sales tax, and increase the state’s sales tax cap on vehicles from $300 to $500.
The Chamber points out the urgency for the bill in light of infrastructure funding packages of $1 billion+ in Georgia and North Carolina, neighbors of South Carolina.
The Charleston Regional Business Journal cites chamber president and CEO Ted Pitts as being optimistic “that the Legislature can come up with a bill that provides a stable, recurring source of funding to fix the state’s roads and bridges.”
Infrastructure and Economic Growth
In addition to the tax reforms suggested, the Chamber is pushing for roughly $600 million in additional funding to go towards road and bridge maintenance. They state, “We will advocate for the General Assembly to diversify the revenue stream in order to create a sustainable long-term funding mechanism instead of one that is excessively dependent on the gas tax.”
Pitts explains that “the business community is committed to advancing the state of South Carolina.” The Chamber, among many other groups, understand that proper infrastructure is essential for maintaining current population and economic growth in the state and also allowing and controlling future growth. For the Charleston area particularly, maintaining current infrastructure and building additional support for the growing area is crucial.
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