South Carolina’s highway official is warning lawmakers that the rise of electric vehicles will mean a drop in how much the state has to spend on roads unless they make some changes.
Electric cars don’t pay the gas tax because they don’t use gas, and the $60-a-year tax they pay the state is less than a third of what it takes to equal what regular vehicles pay, said the department’s secretary. of State Transport, Christy Hall. lawmakers earlier this month.
She said raising the rate to $200 to $250 would bring the state in line with many other southern states and equal the average miles driven per gallon for gasoline-powered vehicles, The Post and Courier of Charleston.
South Carolina collects $1.15 billion a year in drivers’ taxes and fees. Only $1.8 million came from registration fees on all-electric and hybrid vehicles, according to the DOT.
And that number could go down a bit more because gasoline-powered vehicles are becoming more fuel-efficient, paying less in gas taxes and driving more on state roads, Hall said.
A Senate subcommittee seemed receptive to Hall’s presentation.
“We know it’s really going to be a problem in 10 to 15 years,” said state senator Tom Davis. “We need to get out there and find out what the best ideas are.”
Another idea might be a fee at electric charging stations, said Davis, the Beaufort Republican who is chairman of the subcommittee.
Senate Transportation Chair Larry Grooms is holding a subcommittee meeting while the Legislature is not in session, so they can have ideas ready when the General Assembly returns in 2022.
“Our state is growing faster than we can keep up. This was not addressed in the road bill that we passed, “said the Republican from Bonneau.
South Carolina lawmakers voted to increase the gas tax in 2017 for the first time in 30 years. The tax is increasing 2 cents per gallon per year for six years. In July, the gasoline tax rises for the fifth time, to 26.75 cents per gallon