Governor Henry McMaster kept his promise and vetoed the gas tax bill passed by the General Assembly. The governor explained his decision in a short social media video Tuesday evening, saying:
Today I vetoed the General Assembly’s gas tax bill, and I would like to tell you why.
Right now, over one-fourth of your gas tax dollars are not used for road repairs. They’re siphoned off for government agency overhead and programs that have nothing to do with roads. Then, much of what’s left is spent on the wrong roads – roads with almost no traffic.
If we would simply reform how DOT spends your tax dollars to be responsible and accountable, we’d have plenty of money – and this gas tax hike would be totally unnecessary.
Unfortunately, raising taxes was the only solution seriously considered by the legislature. Small businesses, young people, and seniors will get hit the hardest – many of them are barely making it now. And the system remains dysfunctional.
South Carolina is a great place – and you deserve better than this.
McMaster had planned to veto the bill because he is against raising taxes. There is overwhelming support from lawmakers to override the governor’s decision.
The House passed the bill in a 99-20 vote and adopted the version passed by the State Senate Monday night.
— Ashleigh Holland (@AshleighHNews) May 9, 2017
After the House’s vote, House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) called this the “most significant infrastructure bill to pass the General Assembly in 30 years” the success of “an overwhelming bipartisan majority vote.”
“Even though Governor McMaster has issued a veto threat, I encourage him to consider the magnitude of support behind this issue, change course, and immediately sign this roads bill into law,” Lucas said in a statement.
In order for the bill to become a law, it must receive a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. Should that happen, the bill would be come law on July 1.
The vote to override the Governor’s veto could happen as early as Wednesday.
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