Below are some issues you may have an interest in:
- How much comes in from the gas tax each year? About $450 million.
- How much revenue is generated per penny of tax? The motor fuel tax generates about $30 million per year, per penny.
- How much does South Carolina tax each gallon of fuel? It is 16.8 cents, which is 47th in the nation.
- How does South Carolina compare to other states around the Southeast?
o Georgia: 28.5 cents
o North Carolina: 37.8 cents
o Florida: 35.5 cents
o Virginia: 19.9 cents
o Tennessee: 21.4 cents
- How has inflation impacted the gas tax? If the tax had been adjusted for inflation since 1989, it would be 30 cents per gallon.
- How much goes to highway funds from the car tax? Approximately $41 million per year. Act 98 (2013) redirected 50% of the General Fund portion of the sales tax on motor vehicles to the State Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund. (Used exclusively for highway, road, and bridge maintenance, construction, and repair)
- What is the sales tax on vehicles? It is 5%, with a cap of $300. This means that once the cost of the car reaches $6,000, the purchaser will pay no additional sales tax.
- Do we use General Fund revenue to pay for roads? If so, how much? In Fiscal Year 2012-13, the state appropriated only $57,270 to the SCDOT. Because of Act 98 (passed in 2013), $50 million is now appropriated annually to SCDOT. The DOT then transfers the $50 million in quarterly payments to the State Infrastructure Bank to be used to finance bridge replacement, rehabilitation projects, and expansion and improvements to existing interstates.
- Does revenue from the motor fuel tax go into the General Fund? No--these funds are kept separate from the General Fund.
- Overall, how much is the state spending of its own money per year on roads? SCDOT uses the motor fuel revenue it collects (FY 2013-14: $453,920,812). Federal-Aid Eligible projects typically have an 80/20 match.
- How much do we get from the federal government for roads each year, on average?
o FY2011-12 (Actual) $845,540,985;
o FY2012-13 (Actual) $615,764,553;
o FY2013-14 (Estimate) $640,000,000.
- This amount varies depending on the mix of projects that are done and whether they are eligible for the federal match.
**For detailed analysis of several funding options that have been discussed, please see
“Transportation Funding Issues 11-18-14” at: http://www.rfa.sc.gov/econ/presentations
Based on the seventeen bills that deal with K-12 education that were prefiled in
December, the Senate will be looking at a wide range of topics this year, including
school calendars, further expansion of K-4, school transportation, special education
diplomas, and school district geographic boundaries.
Some of the other key K-12 initiatives and issues anticipated this session include:
- Collaborating with the new Superintendent of Education, Molly Spearman, and new House Education and Public Works leadership.
- Addressing the K-12 school funding (Abbeville) lawsuit.
- Continuing the momentum for comprehensive, systemic approaches for improving student performance and outcomes (as was done with Read to Succeed in 2014).
- Monitoring progress of the cyclical review of Math and ELA standards, mandated by Act 200 of 2014. Last year we replaced the Common Core with state standards.
- Addressing recommendations from three special committees that began meeting after the end of the 2014 session:
- The Select Committee on Teachers, which I chaired, met five times and heard from a number of educators. It concluded with recommendations to address and improve teacher employment and dismissal, as well as the teacher pipeline and teacher pay. The S.C. Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office presentation on South Carolina teacher pay is available online at http://www.rfa.sc.gov/econ/presentations. Select “South Carolina and Southeastern Average Teacher Salary 10-14-14.”
- The School Safety Task Force: I was honored to serve as Vice Chair of this committee, which met six times during the summer and fall. Its final report, along with a number of other documents that the committee received, is posted on the SC State House website. Of special note, NAMI was a very important partner and resource, and the committee was very grateful for the support of Joel Wier (Buddy) and Bill Lindsey.
- The First Steps Study Committee, which is in the process of reviewing this initiative, is looking at the governance and structure of First Steps. The Committee expects to make its recommendations by mid-March.