COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina drivers can soon expect to be paying more at the pump.
South Carolina's Motor Fuel User Fee, which helps support road, bridge, and infrastructure work in South Carolina, will increase from $0.20 to $0.22 per gallon beginning July 1.
The increase is part of the South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act passed by the General Assembly in 2017, which raises the fee by $0.02 each July until 2022. At the end the increases, the fee will be 0.28 per gallon.
From July 1, 2017, when the Motor Fuel User Fee first increased, through April 2019, more than $657 million has been deposited in the state Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund, including $185.3 million in increased Motor Fuel User Fee revenues, according to figures from the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
Beginning in 2019 for the 2018 tax year, South Carolina taxpayers can claim a credit for the lesser of the maintenance fees they paid during the year on their vehicles or what they paid in the increased Motor Fuel User Fee.
Preliminary SCDOR data shows that 120,585 taxpayers took advantage of the credit this year, receiving $1.8 million in credits, below the $40 million cap set by lawmakers for the credit's first year.
The average credit per return was $23.65, while the average credit per taxpayer was $15.21, according to the data. The average credit is expected to rise next year because of the increased Motor Fuel User Fee.