I read with dismay in The Sun News on Thursday the announcement that Gov Haley would approve a gas tax hike in order to fund road and bridge work that needs to be done in South Carolina. She is approving this conditionally, only if the legislatures agree to a reduction in the state income tax.
I'm a retired resident, along with my wife, and our only income is Social Security. Like many other retirees in South Carolina, one of the reasons we relocated here for retirement is because of the favorable state tax laws regarding social security and pensions. So a reduction in income taxes would not have an impact on us, but an increase in the gas tax certainly would, as we use our vehicles to get around to the various establishments that allow us to spend our retirement money with them.
This subject has been brought up before, and I think it's time to revisit it again. A very substantial amount of revenue could be raised by requiring fees to be implemented on everyone and every vehicle that actually use our roads and highways regularly. All trailers should be required to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (as well as being required to have taillights/brake lights for mere safety. Also all mopeds should be required to be registered as well.
I'm quite sure that the yearly revenue that these registrations would generate would certainly be an adequate trade off for raising the gas tax. Two things would be accomplished, revenue to fund road and bridge work would be generated and there would be an increased level of safety on our roads.
There is, of course, one more avenue to pursue for revenue for road work, and that would be to institute motor vehicle inspection requirements throughout the state, even if only done every two or three years, at a minimal cost to vehicle owners. And this again would benefit everyone by providing a greater level of automotive safety for all who drive our roads.
I don't mind helping to fund road and bridge repairs that are necessary for our safety, I just believe that the cost should be shared by everyone who uses these same roads and bridges.