State lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle say they are determined to raise South Carolina gas taxes this year and will spend that money on road improvements.
But gas taxes aren’t the only fees included in the House bill that representatives were debating Tuesday in Columbia.
There are lots of added costs that will affect all residents, as well as those living on a low income, new residents from other states, and green car users trying to protect the environment.
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Here are the 5 things you need to know about those other fees buried in the gas tax bill.
5. A trip to the pump costs how much?
The current state tax is 16 cents a gallon, but lawmakers want to increase that by 10 cents over the next five years.
How much will that cost you?
The state gas tax for the average car holding 17 gallons of gas will total about $7.31 for every trip to the pump — that’s about $3 in federal taxes and $4.25 for state taxes.
For an SUV holding 30 gallons of gas, that tax bill at every gas pump stop will cost nearly $13 in state and federal fees.
4. The cost of going green
Want to save the planet from fossil fuels? It will cost you. Under the gas tax bill, hybrid vehicle owners must pay a $60 tax every two years. For electric car owners, that fee doubles to $120 every two years.
3. Used cars will cost more
Looking to save a few bucks by buying a used car because you don’t make much money? That’s getting taxed, too. Any vehicle that costs between $6,000 and $10,000 will see a sales tax hike of an additional $200.
2. Welcome to South Carolina!
Now that you’ve relocated to the Palmetto State with a car, it’s going to cost an extra $250 to register it here, and that’s on top of the other taxes and fees charged for owning a car.
For those of us already living here, the car registration fee would go up an extra $16.
1. Tourists vs. residents, who will pay the bulk?
State lawmakers estimate that all of these fees and taxes will raise $600 million a year.
Interestingly, that’s nearly the same amount that RIDE III will produce through a one percent sales tax in Horry County to build more than a dozen major road projects here over the next eight years.
But we digress.
Bill supporters estimate that of the new gas taxes and fees, about $116 million will be paid by out-of-state drivers.
That means about 81 percent will be paid by residents and 19 percent paid by tourists.