Columbia, SC (WLTX) – The hotly contested gas tax increase in South Carolina goes into effect Saturday.
While gas prices will increase over the next six years, you could collect on some of what you put into your tank at the pump. If you save your receipts, that is.
Lawmakers agreed to increase the motor fuel tax from 16 to 28 cents over the next six years, all to pay for roads.
"Some folks could have a hard time paying any additional taxes,” says Senator Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley County.
In a phone interview Sen. Grooms, who helped write the bill, says they wanted to make sure drivers get a little money in return.
"We created a mechanism for folks who live in South Carolina and are working that you would have the ability to get back every dollar that you paid in additional gasoline taxes."
"We want to know how many gallons of gas that you're buying and we want to know the maintenance cost,” says Director Hartley Powell with the SC Department of Revenue (DOR).
He says you should keep your receipts for gas or routine car maintenance on up to two cars beginning in January of 2018. That's when the new tax year begins.
"We're going to have a separate schedule that goes with the tax return,” says Powell. “It's going to walk them through it. It's going to be a formula that you're going to put in and it's going to tell you the amount of refund per vehicle that you're entitled to."
What you pay at the pump isn't the only change South Carolinians will see, either, as the sales tax on new car purchases will go up an extra $200. Currently, $300 is added to a new car as the tax, but officials say an increase to $500 will also help fund road repairs throughout the state.