It seems there is no debate over the need for increased money to improve South Carolina’s roads. There appears to be a lot of debate as to the best ways to get it. I suggest using three sources to provide the necessary funding.
1. Use general revenues. All residents use goods and services that are transported to them over our roadways, so all should pay.
2. Increase the gas tax. There is an obvious relationship between our state having one of the lowest gas taxes per gallon and the condition of our roads. The people who use the roads for business, pleasure and travel — residents and nonresidents alike — contribute to the wear and tear of our roads and should contribute to their upkeep. The more they use the roads, the more they should pay. The fair way to do that is with a higher gas tax.
3. Increase the sales tax cap on the purchase of automobiles. Those who can afford and choose to purchase more expensive automobiles should pay more in taxes.
We have heard the expression that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. It appears that the Legislature and the governor are fiddling with solutions that won’t work while our roads get worse.
C. Robert Jones Jr.