SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — High gas prices now have drivers looking for ways to save. Some South Carolina lawmakers believe cutting the state's gas tax could be one solution.
South Carolina Representative Stewart Jones (R-District 14) and several other state representatives are supporting a bill that would temporarily suspend the state's 26 cent gas tax, which is also expected to increase to 28 cents in the next few months.
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“One of the ideas is to suspend it for a year and then review it at the end of the year and then another idea that’s been put forth in a different bill is to suspend it until gas goes below 3.25/gal," Jones said.
Over time those in support of cutting the gas tax believe these small savings could make a big difference for drivers.
“If you add it up if a family has two cars that could equal about $500 savings per year," Jones said.
WCNC Charlotte spoke to some drivers filling up at the pump who say they're feeling the impact of these high gas prices.
“Try to cut back on my driving a little bit to save gas in the car," driver Lorenzo Harris said.
In a separate bill, another gas-saving proposal is to encourage more oil to be produced domestically by reauthorizing the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Oil prices are what they are and they’re just going to keep going up," driver Mackenzie Johnson said.
Without the gas tax, that means South Carolina would be missing out on revenue typically used for infrastructure costs. Right now Jones says the state has about $800 million in infrastructure and maintenance funds and much of that money is already allocated to projects. He believes the cuts made now are worth the overall impact later on.
“We don’t want to stop those projects, but on the flip side if people can’t afford to drive it really doesn’t matter how nice the roads are," Jones said.
In South Carolina, the General Assembly session ends in May. Jones said the goal is to move the legislation quickly in hopes of getting it all approved.
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