S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley threw her support behind a Senate Republican plan to spend $400 million more money on roads without raising the gas tax.
On her Facebook page Thursday, Haley said the plan “has more money to fix our roads, real reform to DOT (the S.C. Department of Transportation) and the (State Transportation) Infrastructure Bank so that money is spent the right way, and no tax increase.”
Haley called the plan “Exactly what we need in South Carolina. Bring it home!”
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Haley was referring to a plan that hatched in the Senate late Wednesday to abandon previous efforts to raise the gas tax and providing some income tax relief.
The tax proposals have stymied efforts to repair roads since last year, when Haley first proposed swapping a gas-tax increase for far larger income tax cuts and also called for reforming state boards that oversee transportation spending.
That gridlock continued late Wednesday, until the Senate GOP set into motion the new plan for roads.
The Senate GOP’s $400 million spending plan also would reform the state Transportation Department, shifting power to appoint members of its governing commission to the governor, away from state legislators. With advice from the governor, the commission would appoint the state transportation secretary.
The controversial State Transportation Infrastructure Bank also would be made answerable to the Transportation Department. Critics charge the bank underwrites road projects based on legislators’ political clout, not the state’s needs.
The proposal is the first movement the Senate has had on a roads proposal. S.C. senators are reviewing the details and plan to return Tuesday to debate it.