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Gas Prices & Registration Fees Increase in South Carolina

By: Ryan Gallagher July 11, 2017
Gas taxes and vehicle registration fees are on the rise in South Carolina, where state lawmakers are looking for ways to fund infrastructure improvements.

South Carolina drivers are now paying more at the pump and at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The Palmetto State’s “roads bill” went into effect July 1. The new legislation put a tax on gasoline, increasing the amount drivers pay by $0.02 per gallon every year for the next 6 years.

In addition, vehicle registration fees are also on the rise. The bill replaced the old sales tax with a registration fee based on the price of their car, with drivers now paying 5% of the vehicle’s purchase price. The fee is capped at $500.

Furthermore, if a driver decides to transfer their registration to South Carolina from another state, they will be charged a $250 fee. Similarly, if an out-of-state driver buys a car in South Carolina, they will pay 5% sales tax.

Legislators estimate earnings of $600 million annually now that the bill is in effect. The money will be used to improve the state’s roads, with priority going to those with the highest number of fatal crashes.

In addition to highway improvements, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) is preparing to widen interstates, pave more roads, and create a safer, higher quality infrastructure system statewide.

Governor Henry McMaster originally vetoed the bill on May 9. Less than a day later, both houses of the state legislature voted to overturn the Governor’s action.

DMV officials reported more customers than usual in the week preceding the new bill’s passage.

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