COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina residents soon will be paying more when they fill up their cars.
South Carolina's Motor Fuel User Fee (commonly known as the gas tax) is set to increase from 24 cents per gallon to 26 cents per gallon on July 1. The state's inspection fee of 0.25 cents per gallon and its environmental impact fee 0.5 cents per gallon and the federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline – 22.4 cents per gallon for diesel – will not increase.
The increase is part of a bill signed into law in 2017 that increases the state's gas tax from 18 cents per gallon as of July 1, 2017 by two cents each year until July 1, 2022 when the fee will be 28 cents per gallon.
This year's increase comes as gas prices have risen from an average of $2.108 per gallon in November to $2.985 per gallon in May, according to the United States Energy Information Administration. The $2.985 per gallon is the highest average price for May since 2014, though the average was $2.901 per gallon in 2019.
The additional money raised from the increased fees is deposited into South Carolina's Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund to fund work by the South Carolina Department of Transportation. So far, $608.5 million in additional funds has been deposited into the fund.