A Senate Finance subcommittee approved on Tuesday a measure to phase in a gas tax increase of 12 cents over the next three years.
The increase, aimed at improving South Carolina roads, could raise a projected $437 million after full implementation. The subcommittee agreed to cap inflation for the increase at two percent.
The group also approved a measure to increase the casual car sales tax paid upon registering a newly purchased car—currently a maximum of $300—to $600.
Other measures passed by the subcommittee include a driver’s license fee increase. If approved by the General Assembly, the Department of Motor Vehicles would charge $25 for five-year licenses and $50 for 10-year licenses. Those fees are currently at $12.50 and $25, respectively.
Lawmakers have emphasized roads funding as a priority for this legislative session, though issues of domestic violence and ethics have dominated much of the Senate’s debate so far.
Committee members plan to have ready for the full committee next week a bill that outlines the fee increases.