COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Democrat seeking to become South Carolina’s next governor has a plan to suspend the state’s gas tax, easing the cost of pumping up as pandemic-related supply shortages drive gas prices nationally to record highs.
Joe Cunningham previewed his proposal in an interview with The Associated Press.
“Gas prices are out of control and we have to get creative about how to lessen the burden on South Carolina families,” Cunningham says. “By suspending the gas tax and supplementing the lost revenue with American Rescue Plan funds or money from the state’s $1 billion budget surplus, we can help South Carolinians keep more money in their pocket without delaying or jeopardizing a single infrastructure project.”
He would utilize a combination of federal relief aid and state budget surplus to keep tax-funded infrastructure projects on track. The plan would require approval from a Republican-controlled Legislature that’s technically out of session until January.
Cunningham said his temporary halt could save South Carolina drivers about $5 for each fill up of a 20-gallon tank.
“The General Assembly could do this tomorrow. I hope they will take this common-sense step to help South Carolina taxpayers,” Cunningham says.