State Sen. Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington, says the state should set aside money specifically for borrowing millions to expand the state’s weathered interstate highways.
The money would come from vehicle sales taxes that currently flow into the state’s general fund, Setzler said.
This year, those sales taxes are expected to generate $59 million for the state – money that, if lawmakers approve, could be used to borrow $600 million to expand interstates more quickly, Setzler said.
“Then we've got an interstate system that's first class,” and beneficial to businesses carry goods inland from the coast, and helping small businesses and S.C. commuters, he said.
On Wednesday, Setzler will prefile legislation that would require the General Assembly to commit those sales tax dollars to an Interstate Lane Expansion Fund.
The proposal is similar to steps lawmakers have taken recently to address the state’s multi-billion dollar road maintenance deficit.
In 2013, lawmakers committed half of the vehicle sales taxes going into the general fund to pay for road and bridge maintenance instead. Setzler’s plan would commit the remaining sales tax dollars to interstates.